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Limited to 1000 signed and numbered sets, 

The Collector s Edition of the Writings of Thomas 
Jefferson is limited to six hundred signed and num** 
bered sets f of which this is 


We guarantee that no limited, numbered edition, 
other than the Federal, shall be printed from these 

The written number must correspond with the 
perforated number at the top of this page, 


From the painting by Mather Bro 

The Works of 

Thomas Jefferson 

Collected and Edited 

Paul Leicester Ford 

Volume XII 

G. P. Putnam s Sons 

New York and London 

Gbe "Rntcherbocfcet press 


Ubc Iknfcfecrbocftetr ipress, flew 





Virginia Constitution General principles of govern 


Death of Mazzei Jefferson s debt to Mazzei. 

To JOHN TAYLOR, JULY 2iST ..... 21 
Schools in Virginia County Courts. 


Peyton Randolph Invasion of Virginia. 
To JAMES MADISON, AUGUST 20 . . . . -30 

Visits Mrs. Randolph s illness. 

Life of Patrick Henry. 


Congressional salary and changes Drought and crops 
Disappearance of Federalists Virginia Constitution. 


Inscription for Capitol. 

Olive Bratich Religion. 

Religion Conduct of U. S. compared with England. 


Events in France Personal relations. 

iv Contents of Volume XII 



Reading Correspondence Tracy s writings Religion. 


Farming vs. manufacturing Situation in Great 


Health Religion. 


Emancipation and colonization. 


Threatened publication of Syllabus of Christ s Doctrines 
Repository . 




Internal improvements Rumored law of New York 
against Shakers. 


France United States Quakers South America. 

Byrd s journal Loan from bank. 


Right of expatriation Common law in U. S. 


Writings Public improvements. 


Congressional salaries and changes Recent acts In 
ternal improvements New York act against Shakers. 


Maxims of conduct. 


2 IST . . . . . . . 75 

Pretended political opinion. 


Books French military schools Education in Vir 
ginia University of Virginia. 

Contents of Volume XII v 



Life of Patrick Henry Kosciusko s death and will. 

To JOSEPH C. CABELL, JANUARY 14x11 . ... Si 

Cost of Virginia schools. 


Statement as to Patrick Henry John Adams. 

French education Fiction. 


Ascendency of Republican party. 


Holly Origin of Revolution South America. 

Merino sheep. 


Falsehood in reference to Pike s expedition Wilson s 

Tariff on wines Evil of whiskey. 

To JOHN ADAMS, NOVEMBER i3TH . . . .102 
Death of Mrs. Adams. 


France Capture of Pensacola Western and Southern 
emigration Public lands Health Cathalan Tracy. 


Franklin s enemies Franklin and France Anecdotes 
of Franklin. 



Reading Paper money. 

Louisiana boundaries. 

Samuel Adams. 

vi Contents of Volume XII 


To JAMES MADISON, MARCH 30 . . .116 

"Sour grapes" of William and Mary College Florida 
Arbuthnot and Ambrister. 

To DR. VINE UTLEY, MARCH 2isx . . . .116 
Physical habits. 


Origin of Committees of Correspondence Galloway s 
history of Declaration of Independence McKean s recol 
lections Signing of Declaration Samuel Adams Secret 
To RICHARD RUSH, JUNE 220 ..... 126 

Books Banking system. 

To WILLIAM WIRT, JUNE 27 . . . . .129 
Kosciusko s property and will. 

To JOHN ADAMS, JULY 9TH . . . . . .131 

Mecklenburg Declaration Professors for University of 


Renewal of notes Endorser. 


Letters of Hampden Encroachments of national gov 
ernment Right of decision as to constitutionality. 


Jefferson an Epicurean Classic writers Doctrines of 


Illnesses Bank-note bubble burst. 


Personal relations Nicholas corps Invasion of Vir 


Missouri question Cicero Caesar. 


To JOSEPH C. CABELL, JANUARY 220 . . . 154 

University in Kentucky Missouri question. 

Contents of Volume XII vii 


British criticisms of the United States. 

Missouri question Petitions of manufacturers. 

To JOHN HOLMES, APRIL 220 ..... 158 
Missouri question Emancipation Colonization. 

To JAMES MONROE, MAY 14 ..... 160 

Spanish Treaty Texas Florida Cuba. 

Right of decision on constitutionality. 

Age Paper vs. metallic money Missouri question. 


University of Virginia Portugal Piracy. 


University of Virginia Virginia threatened with being 
the Barbary of United States Elementary schools. 

Tenche Coxe Removals from office Correa. 


Taylor s Construction Construed Judiciary the danger 
ous branch of the United States Government. 


European revolutions Banks Missouri question 
Botta s History. 

Writings South America. 


European revolutions Paper money Governmental 
revenues and expenditures Missouri question Pennsyl 
vania and Virginia Emancipation and colonization. 


Health Republicanization of Europe Relations with 
Spain Missouri question. 



Treatment of typhus fever Missouri question. 

viii Contents of Volume XII 


Opinion of writings of Bolingbroke and Thomas Paine. 

Inroads of Federal judiciary. 

To JOHN ADAMS, JANUARY 220 ..... 198 
Convention of Massachusetts Missouri question. 

Feeling concerning Independence in Colonies. 


Corruption of government Federal judiciary Mis 
souri question. 

To SAMUEL H. SMITH, APRIL i2TH .... 203 

Debt a cause for revolution Danger of geographical 
lines in parties. 


Living signers of Declaration Missouri question 
Western extension. 


Jefferson s recommendation of Taylor s book Polit 
ical measures. 


Duties on books. 

Revolutionary services of Thomas Nelson. 



University of Virginia Bankrupt law Curbing of 
Federal judiciary Cooked-up decisions. 

Hackley s claim Spanish grants. 


Endeavor to drag Jefferson into Presidential election. 


Association for civilizing Indians Dangers from pri 
vate societies interfering in governmental functions. 

Contents of Volume XII ix 


To RITCHIE AND GOOCH, MAY 13x11 .... 228 

Letter of a native Virginian Charge of peculation 
against Jefferson. 


Charles Thomson Life Health European news. 

Doctrines of Jesus Corrupted by Platonism. 

Jefferson s income Debt to Van Staphorst 


Life of General Nathaniel Greene Cooked-up decisions 
of Supreme Court Political parties. 


Friendship European affairs Presidential election 
Political parties. 

Presidential election University of Virginia. 


Voyage to Lisbon Presidential election Political 
parties University of Virginia Oorrea. 


Origin of American navy Proposals concerning Bar- 
bary States Expense of navy. 


Outbreak of fanaticism in U. S. No professor of divin 
ity in University of Virginia Opening of university. 

Mexican news. 



University of Virginia Life of Gerry Letter to Judge 

President s hospitality Financial difficulties. 


North American Review s notice of Life of Greene His 
tory of parties Federalist chronicles Jefferson s papers 
Judiciary encroachments. 

x Contents of Volume XII 



Predictions as to Europe Great Britain and United 

To SAMUEL SMITH, MAY 30 . . . . . . 283 

Whiskey tax Excise Drunkenness in U. S. Presi 
dential election. 


Grasses Politics Banks Prints of Bonaparte. 



To JAMES MONROE, JUNE i ITH ..... 291 

U. S. should avoid European affairs Cuba England 
and Spain. 

To JAMES MADISON, JUNE i3TH ..... 295 
Washington s Farewell Address. 


Cuba and Mexico. 


Spain Political parties. 

Qualifications of President Party of consolidation. 


Letters of "Phocion" Method of electing President. 

W. 0. Nicholas. 


Pickering s Fourth of July oration Drafting of De 
claration of Independence Origin of ideas. 


Slow progress of free ideas Europe John Jay. 

To JOHN ADAMS, OCTOBER i2TH ..... 312 

Old age University of Virginia Cunningham corre 


Letter of Tenche Coxe Controversy between partisans 
of Hamilton and Pickering. 

Contents of Volume XII xi 




Monroe Doctrine Great Britain. 


European affairs Presidential election Political par 
ties Miss Wright s books Old age. 


Questions with Great Britain. 

Gift of venison. 

Letters of Thomas Paine Magazine Toleration. 

Class taxation Fanaticism University of Virginia. 



Maxims of conduct. 


Bancroft s sermons Doctrines of Jesus. 



Colonization Problem as to negro. 


Publication of papers on Continental Congress Com 
ing of Lafayette. 


Taylor s New Views of the Constitution True relation 
of national and state governments. 

Applicants for office B. Peyton. 


Relations with Edward Livingston. 

xii Contents of Volume XII 



Presidential election Relations between Pennsylvania 
and Virginia. 


Political parties Federal and state relations Inter 
nal improvements. 


Virginia constitution. 

To RICHARD RUSH, JUNE 5TH ..... 355 

Tariff of 1824 Andrew Jackson s prospects Craw 
ford and Adams. 

To MARTIN VAN BUREN, JUNE 29 .... 357 

Pickering s orations Philippics against Adams and 
Jefferson Relations with Washington Mazzei letter 
Society of the Cincinnati Washington s politics. 

To JAMES MONROE, JULY i8TH ..... 372 
Applications for appointments Conduct of England. 


Newspapers Political parties. 

Arrival in America Yorktown Visit to Monticello. 

Virginia constitution. 


Tender of dinner Recollections. 


Delirium of Lafayette s visit Presidential election 
Danger of consolidation. 

Courtship of Ellen Jefferson Gift Visit of Lafayette. 

Walsh s book Conduct of Great Britain. 

Application for office Invitation. 

Publication of letter. 

Contents of Volume XII xiii 



Writings of Harper and Otis Hamilton a monarchist 
The two Adamses Denny History of American par 


University of Virginia Health of Adams. 

Adams Flourens on nervous system. 

To J. S. JOHNSON, FEBRUARY i3TH .... 402 

Book on Louisiana La Harpe s History Louisiana 

To THOMAS J. SMITH, FEBRUARY 2isT . . . . 405 
Rules for conduct. 


Authorship of Virginia constitution Mason Jeffer 
son s share in preamble. 


Mason the author of the Virginia Bill of Rights Vir 
ginia s instruction on Independence Object of Declara 
tion of Independence. 

To Miss FANNY WRIGHT, AUGUST yTH . . . 410 


Copies of Declaration of Independence. 

House where Declaration was written. 


Ellen Jefferson Coolidge Jefferson s wealth Life of 
R. H. Lee. 

Internal improvements Draft of protest. 


J. Q. Adams and embargo New England negotiations 
with Great Britain. 


Usurpation of national government Course to be 
taken Publication of letter University of Virginia. 

xiv Contents of Volume XII 



111 health Usurpation of national government Inter 
nal improvements. 

To JAMES MADISON, JANUARY 20 . . . . 431 

Internal improvements University of Virginia. 
Private affairs. 



Cases in Virginia Jefferson s services. 


Lottery for Jefferson Charges of "An American Citi 
zen" University of Virginia. 

Lottery Despair. 


University of Virginia Books Legal training Lot 
tery Debts Nicholas. 


History of North Carolina. 

Debts Lottery Virginian estate. 

Lottery University of Virginia. 

Lottery Property. 


Lottery Property. 


Commercial treaties. 


Lawfulness of slavery U. S. Constitution. 
To HENRY LEE, MAY 30TH ...... 470 

Lee s Memoirs Simcoe s raid. 

Contents of Volume XII xv 



Affection Incipient courtships. 

To ROGER C. WEIGHTMAN, JUNE 24x11 .... 476 

Declines invitation to celebrate fiftieth anniversary of 



INDEX 4 8 5 




1816. July 10. At Monticello. 

Writes sketch of Peyton Randolph. 

Sept. Reads proof of Wirt s Life of Patrick Henry. 

25. At Poplar Forest. 

Oct. 5. At Monticello. 

1 6. Writes inscription for National Capitol. 

24-Dec. 5. At Poplar Forest. 

Dec. ii. At Monticello. 

1817. Apr. 25-6. At Poplar Forest. 

28. At Monticello. 

July i. At Poplar Forest. 

15. At Monticello. 

Aug. n-Sept. 1 8. At Poplar Forest. 

Sept. 21. At Monticello. 

Nov. 22-Dec. 20. At Poplar Forest. 

Dec. 23. At Monticello. 

1818. Apr. !7-May 3. At Poplar Forest. 

May 6. At Monticello. 

July 3. At Poplar Forest. 

Aug. 1-4. At Rockfish Gap. 

7-21. At Warm Springs. 

Sept. i. At Monticello. 

Writes Anecdotes of Franklin. 

1819. Apr. 22. At Poplar Forest. 

May i. At Monticello. 

July lo-Sept. 10. At Poplar Forest. 

Sept. 14. At Monticello. 

Nov. Draws Plan of circulating medium, 


xviii Itinerary and Chronology 

1820. Sept. 13-21. At Poplar Forest. 

24. At Monticello. 
Nov. 15. At Poplar Forest. 
Dec. 19. At Monticello. 

1821. Oct. 20. At Buckspring. 

27. At Monticello. 

I g 22 . May Writes answer to "A Native of Virginia." 

21-6. At Poplar Forest. 

30. At Monticello. 

1823. May 21. At Poplar Forest. 

27. At Monticello. 

June At Bedford. 

July At Monticello. 

1824. Dec. Visited by Daniel Webster. 

1825. Dec. Drafts Protest for Virginia. 

I g 2 6. Feb. Writes Notes on Lotteries. 

Mar. 1 6. Executes Will. 

17. Adds Codicil to Will. 

June 24. Declines invitation to join in cele 

brating July 4th. 

25. Writes last letter. 
July 4. Dies. 




TOL. XII. . 






MONTICELLO, July 12, l8l6. 

SIR, I duly received your favor of June the i3th, 
with the copy of the letters on the calling a conven 
tion, on which you are pleased to ask my opinion. 
I have not been in the habit of mysterious reserve on 
any subject, nor of buttoning up my opinions within 
my own doublet. On the contrary, while in public 
service especially, I thought the public entitled to 
frankness, and intimately to know whom they em 
ployed. But I am now retired: I resign myself, as 
a passenger, with confidence to those at present at 
the helm, and ask but for rest, peace and good will. 
The question you propose, on equal representation, 
has become a party one, in which I wish to take no 
public share. Yet, if it be asked for your own satis 
faction only, and not to be quoted before the public, 
I have no motive to withhold it, and the less from 
you, as it coincides with your own. At the birth of 


4 The Writings of 

our republic, I committed that opinion to the world, 
in the draught of a constitution annexed to the Notes 
on Virginia, in which a provision was inserted for a 
representation permanently equal. The infancy of 
the subject at that moment, and our inexperience of 
self-government, occasioned gross departures in that 
draught from genuine republican canons. In truth, 
the abuses of monarchy had so much filled all the 
space of political contemplation, that we imagined 
everything republican which was not monarchy. We 
had not yet penetrated to the mother principle, that 
"governments are republican only in proportion as 
they embody the will of their people, and execute 
it." Hence, our first constitutions had really no 
leading principles in them. But experience and re 
flection have but more and more confirmed me in the 
particular importance of the equal representation 
then proposed. On that point, then, I am entirely 
in sentiment with your letters ; and only lament that 
a copy-right of your pamphlet prevents their ap 
pearance in the newspapers, where alone they would 
be generally read, and produce general effect. The 
present vacancy too, of other matter, would give 
them place in every paper, and bring the question 
home to every man s conscience. 

But inequality of representation in both Houses 
of our legislature, is not the only republican heresy 
in this first essay of our revolutionary patriots at 
forming a constitution. For let it be agreed that a 
government is republican in proportion as every 
member composing it has his equal voice in the 
direction of its concerns (not indeed in person, 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 5 

which would be impracticable beyond the limits of 
a city, or small township, but) by representatives 
chosen by himself, and responsible to him at short 
periods, and let us bring to the test of this canon 
every branch of our constitution. 

In the legislature, the House of Representatives 
is chosen by less than half the people, and not at all 
in proportion to those who do choose. The Senate 
are still more disproportionate, and for long terms 
of irresponsibility. In the Executive, the Governor 
is entirely independent of the choice of the people, 
and of their control; his Council equally so, and at 
best but a fifth wheel to a wagon. In the Judiciary, 
the judges of the highest courts are dependent on 
none but themselves. In England, where judges 
were named and removable at the will of an heredi 
tary executive, from which branch most misrule was 
feared, and has flowed, it was a great point gained, 
by fixing them for life, to make them independent of 
that executive. But in a government founded on 
the public will, this principle operates in an opposite 
direction, and against that will. There, too, they 
were still removable on a concurrence of the execu 
tive and legislative branches. But we have made 
them independent of the nation itself. They are 
irremovable, but by their own body, for any de 
pravities of conduct, and even by their own body for 
the imbecilities of dotage. The justices of the in 
ferior courts are self -chosen, are for life, and perpetu 
ate their own body in succession forever, so that a 
faction once possessing themselves of the bench of a 
county, can never be broken up, but hold their 

6 The Writings of 

county in chains, forever indissoluble. Yet these 
justices are the real executive as well as judiciary, in 
all our minor and most ordinary concerns. They 
tax us at will; fill the office of sheriff, the most im 
portant of all the executive officers of the county; 
name nearly all our military leaders, which leaders, 
once named, are removable but by themselves. The 
juries, our judges of all fact, and of law when they 
choose it, are not selected by the people, nor amen 
able to them. They are chosen by an officer named 
by the court and executive. Chosen, did I say? 
Picked up by the sheriff from the loungings of the 
court yard, after everything respectable has retired 
from it. Where then is our republicanism to be 
found? Not in our constitution certainly, but 
merely in the spirit of our people. That would 
oblige even a despot to govern us republicanly. 
Owing to this spirit, and to nothing in the form of 
our constitution, all things have gone well. But this 
fact, so triumphantly misquoted by the enemies of 
reformation, is not the fruit of our constitution, but 
has prevailed in spite of it. Our functionaries have 
done well, because generally honest men. If any 
were not so, they feared to show it. 

But it will be said, it is easier to find faults than 
to amend them. I do not think their amendment so 
difficult as is pretended. Only lay down true prin 
ciples, and adhere to them inflexibly. Do not be 
frightened into their surrender by the alarms of the 
timid, or the croakings of wealth against the ascen 
dency of the people. If experience be called for, 
appeal to that of our fifteen or twenty governments 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 7 

for forty years, and show me where the people have 
done half the mischief in these forty years, that a 
single despot would have done in a single year; or 
show half the riots and rebellions, the crimes and the 
punishments, which have taken place in any single 
nation, under kingly government, during the same 
period. The true foundation of republican govern 
ment is the equal right of every citizen, in his per 
son and property, and in their management. Try 
by this, as a tally, every provision of our constitu 
tion, and see if it hangs directly on the will of 
the people. Reduce your legislature to a con 
venient number for full, but orderly discussion. 
Let every man who fights or pays, exercise his just 
and equal right in their election. Submit them to 
approbation or rejection at short intervals. Let the 
executive be chosen in the same way, and for the 
same term, by those whose agent he is to be; and 
leave no screen of a council behind which to skulk 
from responsibility. It has been thought that the 
people are not competent electors of judges learned 
m the law. But I do not know that this is true, and, 
if doubtful, we should follow principle. In this, as 
in many other elections, they would be guided by 
reputation, which would not err oftener, perhaps, 
than the present mode of appointment. In one State 
of the Union, at least, it has long been tried, and 
with the most satisfactory success. The judges of 
Connecticut have been chosen by the people every 
six months, for nearly two centuries, and I believe 
there has hardly ever been an instance of change; 
so powerful is the curb of incessant responsibility. 

8 The Writings of [1816 

If prejudice, however, derived from a monarchical 
institution, is still to prevail against the vital elective 
principle of our own, and if the existing example 
among ourselves of periodical election of judges by 
the people be still mistrusted, let us at least not adopt 
the evil, and reject the good, of the English prece 
dent; let us retain amovability on the concurrence 
of the executive and legislative branches, and nom 
ination by the executive alone. Nomination to 
office is an executive function. To give it to the 
legislature, as we do, is a violation of the principle of 
the separation of powers. It swerves the members 
from correctness, by temptations to intrigue for 
office themselves, and to a corrupt barter of votes; 
and destroys responsibility by dividing it among a 
multitude. By leaving nomination in its proper 
place, among executive functions, the principle of 
the distribution of power is preserved, and respon 
sibility weighs with its heaviest force on a single 

The organization of our county administrations 
may be thought more difficult. But follow principle, 
and the knot unties itself. Divide the counties into 
wards of such size as that every citizen can attend, 
when called on, and act in person. Ascribe to them 
the government of their wards in all things relating 
to themselves exclusively. A justice, chosen by 
themselves, in each, a constable a military company, 
a patrol, a school, the care of their own poor, their 
own portion of the public roads, the choice of one or 
more jurors to serve in some court, and the delivery, 
within their own wards, of their own votes for all 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 9 

elective officers of higher sphere, will relieve the 
county administration of nearly all its business, will 
have it better done, and by making every citizen an 
acting member of the government, and in the offices 
nearest and most interesting to him, will attach him 
by his strongest feelings to the independence of his 
country, and its republican constitution. The jus 
tices thus chosen by every ward, would constitute 
the county court, would do its judiciary business, 
direct roads and bridges, levy county and poor rates, 
and administer all the matters of common interest to 
the whole country. These wards, called townships , 
in New England, are the vital principle of their gov 
ernments, and have proved themselves the wisest 
invention ever devised by the wit of man for the 
perfect exercise of self-government, and for its pre 
servation. We should thus marshal our government 
into, i, the general federal republic, for all concerns 
foreign and federal; 2, that of the State, for what 
relates to our own citizens exclusively; 3, the county 
republics, for the duties and concerns of the 
county; and 4, the ward republics, for the small, 
and yet numerous and interesting concerns of the 
neighborhood; and in government, as well as in 
every other business of life, it is by division and sub 
division of duties alone, that all matters, great 
and small, can be managed to perfection. And the 
whole is cemented by giving to every citizen, per 
sonally, a part in the administration of the public 

The sum of these amendments is, i. General Suf 
frage. 2. Equal representation in the legislature. 

io The Writings of [1816 

3. An executive chosen by the people. 4. Judges 
elective or amovable. 5. Justices, jurors, and sher 
iffs elective. 6. Ward divisions. And 7. Periodi 
cal amendments of the constitution. 

I have thrown out these as loose heads of amend 
ment, for consideration and correction; and their 
object is to secure self-government by the republi 
canism of our constitution, as well as by the spirit 
of the people; and to nourish and perpetuate that 
spirit. I am not among those who fear the people. 
They, and not the rich, are our dependence for 
continued freedom. And to preserve their indepen 
dence, we must not let our rulers load us with per 
petual debt. We must make our election between 
economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If 
we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in 
our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our 
comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our 
callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, 
our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen 
hours in the twenty -four, give the earnings of fifteen 
of these to the government for their debts and daily 
expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to 
afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on 
oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no 
means of calling the mismanagers to account; but 
be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to 
rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow -sufferers. 
Our landholders, too, like theirs, retaining indeed the 
title and stewardship of estates called theirs, but held 
really in trust for the treasury, must wander, like 
theirs, in foreign countries, and be contented with 


1816] Thomas Jefferson u 

penury, obscurity, exile, and the glory of the nation. 
This example reads to us the salutary lesson, that 
private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as 
by private extravagance. And this is the tendency 
of all human governments. A departure from prin 
ciple in one instance becomes a precedent for a sec 
ond ; that second for a third ; and so on, till the bulk 
of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of 
misery, and to have no sensibilities left but for sin 
ning and suffering. Then begins, indeed, the bellum 
omnium in omriia, which some philosophers observing 
to be so general in this world, have mistaken it for 
the natural, instead of the abusive state of man. 
And the fore horse of this frightful team is public 
debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train 
wretchedness and oppression. 

Some men look at constitutions with sanctimoni 
ous reverence, and deem them like the arc of the 
covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe 
to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than 
human, and suppose what they did to be beyond 
amendment. I knew that age well; I belonged to 
it, and labored with it. It deserved well of its coun 
try. It was very like the present, but without the 
experience of the present ; and forty years of experi 
ence in government is worth a century of book -read 
ing; and this they would say themselves, were they 
to rise from the dead. I am certainly not an advo 
cate for frequent and untried changes in laws and 
constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had 
better be borne with ; because, when once known, we 
accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical 

12 The Writings of [1816 

means of correcting their ill effects. But I know 
also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand 
with the progress of the human mind. As that be 
comes more developed, more enlightened, as new 
discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and man 
ners and opinions change with the change of circum 
stances, institutions must advance also, and keep 
pace with the times. We might as well require a 
man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a 
boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the 
regimen of their barbarous ancestors. It is this pre 
posterous idea which has lately deluged Europe in 
blood. Their monarchs, instead of wisely yielding to 
the gradual change of circumstances, of favoring pro 
gressive accommodation to progressive improvement, 
have clung to old abuses, entrenched themselves 
behind steady habits, and obliged their subjects to 
seek through blood and violence rash and ruinous in 
novations, which, had they been referred to the 
peaceful deliberations and collected wisdom of the 
nation, would have been put into acceptable and 
salutary forms. Let us follow no such examples, 
nor weakly believe that one generation is not as capa 
ble as another of taking care of itself, and of order 
ing its own affairs. Let us, as our sister States have 
done, avail ourselves of our reason and experience, 
to correct the crude essays of our first and unexperi 
enced, although wise, virtuous, and well-meaning 
councils. And lastly, let us provide in our constitu 
tion for its revision at stated periods. What these 
periods should be, nature herself indicates. By the 
European tables of mortality, of the adults living at 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 13 

any one moment of time, a majority will be dead in 
about nineteen years. At the end of that period, 
then, a new majority is come into place; or, in other 
words, a new generation. Each generation is as in 
dependent as the one preceding, as that was of all 
which had gone before. It has then, like them, a 
right to choose for itself the form of government it 
believes most promotive of its own happiness; con 
sequently, to accommodate to the circumstances in 
which it finds itself, that received from its predeces 
sors ; and it is for the peace and good of mankind 
that a solemn opportunity of doing this every nine 
teen or twenty years, should be provided by the 
constitution; so that it may be handed on, with 
periodical repairs, from generation to generation, to 
the end of time, if anything human can so long 
endure. It is now forty years since the constitution 
of Virginia was formed. The same tables inform us, 
that, within that period, two-thirds of the adults 
then living are now dead. Have then the remaining 
third, even if they had the wish, the right to hold 
in obedience to their will, and to laws heretofore 
made by them, the other two-thirds, who, with 
themselves, compose the present mass of adults? If 
they have not, who has? The dead? But the dead 
have no rights. They are nothing; and nothing 
cannot own something. Where there is no sub 
stance, there can be no accident. This corporeal 
globe, and everything upon it, belong to its present 
corporeal inhabitants, during their generation. They 
alone have a right to direct what is the concern of 
themselves alone, and to declare the law of that 

14 The Writings of [1816 

direction; and this declaration can only be made 
by their majority. That majority, then, has a right 
to depute representatives to a convention, and to 
make the constitution what they think will be the 
best for themselves. But how collect their voice? 
This is the real difficulty. If invited by private 
authority, or county or district meetings, these divi 
sions are so large that few will attend; and their 
voice will be imperfectly, or falsely pronounced. 
Here, then, would be one of the advantages of the 
ward divisions I have proposed. The mayor of 
every ward, on a question like the present, would 
call his ward together, take the simple yea or nay of 
its members, convey these to the county court, who 
would hand on those of all its wards to the proper 
general authority ; and the voice of the whole people 
would be thus fairly, fully, and peaceably expressed, 
discussed, and decided by the common reason of the 
society. If this avenue be shut to the call of suffer 
ance, it will make itself heard through that of force, 
and we shall go on, as other nations are doing, in 
the endless circle of oppression, rebellion, reforma 
tion; and oppression, rebellion, reformation, again; 
and so on forever. 

These, Sir, are my opinions of the governments 
we see among men, and of the principles by which 
alone we may prevent our own from falling into the 
same dreadful track. I have given them at greater 
length than, your letter called for. But I cannot 
say things by halves ; and I confide them to your 
honor, so to use them as to preserve me from the grid 
iron of the public papers. If you shall approve and 

i8i6] Thomas Jefferson 15 

enforce them, as you have done that of equal repre 
sentation, they may do some good. If not, keep 
them to yourself as the effusions of withered age and 
useless time. I shall, with not the less truth, assure 
you of my great respect and consideration. 1 

1 On this same subject, Jefferson wrote to Kercheval the following 
two letters : 

" MONTICELLO, September 5, 1816. 

4 SIR, Your letter of August the 1 6th is just received. That which 
1 wrote to you under the address of H. Tompkinson, was intended for 
the author of the pamphlet you were so kind as to send me, and there 
fore, in your hands, found its true destination. But I must beseech 
you, Sir, not to admit a possibility of its being published. Many good 
people will revolt from its doctrines, and my wish is to offend nobody; 
to leave to those who are to live under it, the settlement of their own 
constitution, and to pass in peace the remainder of my time. If those 
opinions are sound, they will occur to others, and will prevail by their 
own weight, without the aid of names. I am glad to see that the 
Staunton meeting has rejected the idea of a limited convention. The 
article, however, nearest my heart, is the division of counties into 
wards. These will be pure and elementary republics, the sum of all 
which, taken together, composes the State, and will make of the whole 
a true democracy as to the business of the wards, which is that of 
nearest and daily concern. The affairs of the larger sections, of 
counties, of States, and of the Union, not admitting personal trans 
action by the people, will be delegated to agents elected by themselves ; 
and representation will thus be substituted, where personal action 
becomes impracticable. Yet, even over these representative organs, 
should they become corrupt and perverted, the division into wards 
constituting the people, in their wards, a regularly organized power, 
enables them by that organization to crush, regularly and peaceably, 
the usurpations of their unfaithful agents, and rescues them from the 
dreadful necessity of doing it insurrectionally. In this way we shall 
be as republican as a large society can be ; and secure the continuance 
of purity in our government, by the salutary, peaceable, and regular 
control of the people. No other depositories of power have ever yet 
been found, which did not end in converting to their own profit the 
earnings of those committed to their charge. George the III. in 
execution of the trust confided to him, has, within his own day, loaded 
the inhabitants of Great Britain with debts equal to the whole fee- 
simple value of their island, and under pretext of governing it, has 
alienated its whole soil to creditors who could lend money to be 

1 6 The Writings of [1816 


MONTICELLO, July 18, 16. 

DEAR SIR, Your letter of Mar. 20. & Apr. 15. are 
both received. The former only a week ago. They 
brought me the first information of the death of my 
antient friend Mazzei, which I learn with sincere re 
gret. He had some peculiarities, & who of us has 
not ? But he was of solid worth ; honest, able, zealous 

lavished on priests, pensions, plunder and perpetual war. This would 
not have been so, had the people retained organized means of acting on 
their agents. In this example, then, let us read a lesson for ourselves, 
and not 4 go and do likewise. 

" Since writing my letter of July the 1 2th, I havebeen told, that on the 
question of equal representation, our fellow citizens in some sections 
of the State claim peremptorily a right of representation for their 
slaves. Principle will, in this, as in most other cases, open the way 
for us to correct conclusion. Were our State a pure democracy, in 
which all its inhabitants should meet together to transact all their 
business, there would yet be excluded from their deliberations, i, 
infants, until arrived at years of discretion. 2. Women, who, to pre 
vent depravation of morals and ambiguity of issue, could not mix 
promiscuously in the public meetings of men. 3. Slaves, from 
whom the unfortunate state of things with us takes away the right 
of will and of property. Those then who have no will could be per 
mitted to exercise none in the popular assembly; and of course, could 
delegate none to an agent in a representative assembly. The business, 
in the first case, would be done by qualified citizens only. It is true, 
that in the general constitution, our State is allowed a larger repre 
sentation on account of its slaves. But every one knows, that that 
constitution was a matter of compromise; a capitulation between 
conflicting interests and opinions. In truth, the condition of different 
descriptions of inhabitants in any country is a matter of municipal 
arrangement, of which no foreign country has a right to take notice. 
All its inhabitants are men as to them. Thus, in the New England 
States, none have the powers of citizens but those whom they call free 
men; and none are freemen until admitted by a vote of the freemen of 
the town. Yet, in the General Government, these non-freemen are 
counted in their quantum of representation and of taxation. So, 
slaves with us have no powers as citizens ; yet, in representation in the 
General Government, they count in the proportion of three to five; 
and so also in taxation. Whether this is equal, is not here the question. 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 17 

in sound principles Moral & political, constant in 
friendship, and punctual in all his undertakings. 
He was greatly esteemed in this country, and some 
one has inserted in our papers an account of his 
death, with a handsome and just eulogy of him, and 
a proposition to publish his life in one 8-vo. volume. 
I have no doubt but that what he has written of him- 

It is a capitulation of discordant sentiments and circumstances, and is 
obligatory on that ground. But this view shows there is no inconsis 
tency in claiming representation for them for the other States, and 
refusing it within our own. Accept the renewal of assurances of my 

" MONTICELLO, Oct. 8, 1 6. 

" SIR, A friend in your part of the country informs me that he has 
seen, in pretty free circulation, a letter from me to yourself on the 
subject of a Convention, that it was in the hands of a printer, that he 
had heard several speak of having seen it, and the idea was that it was 
refused to none who asked for it. I cannot but be alarmed at this 
information. My letter of July 12. was expressly confided to your 
honor, to be so used as to be kept from the public papers ; and that 
of Sept. 5. further pressed my request that you would not admit it a 
possibility of it s being published. I did expect and had no objections, 
that you should be at liberty to communicate it s contents to particular 
friends in whom you had confidence ; but not that you would permit 
it to go out of your own hands, still less into those of a printer, to be 
shewn to every one, perhaps to be copied and finally published. I 
must, Sir, reiterate my prayers to you to recall the original, and the 
copies, if any have been taken. The question of a convention is 
become a party one with which I shall not intermeddle. I am willing 
to live under the constitution, as it is, if a majority of my fellow- 
citizens prefer it; altho I think it might be made better, and, for 
the sake of future generations (when principles shall have become too 
relaxed to permit amendment, as experience proves to be the constant 
course of things) I wished to have availed them of the virtues of the 
present time to put into a chaste & secure form, the government to be 
handed down to them. But I repeat that if a majority of my fellow- 
citizens are contented with what will last their time, I am so also, and 
with the more reason as mine is nearly out. I again throw the quiet of 
my life on your honor, and repeat the assurances of my respect. 

" P. S. On revisal of my letter of Sep. 5. I discover an error which be 
pleased to correct with the pen, by striking out of the 5th line from the 
close, the words as 5 and inserting so also. " 

1 8 The Writings of [1816 

self during the portion of the revolutionary period he 
passed with us, would furnish some good material 
for our history of which there is already a wonderful 
scarcity. But where this undertaker of his history 
is to get his materials, I know not, nor who he is. 

I have received Mr. Carmigniani s letter request 
ing the remittance of his money in my hands. How 
and when this can be done I have written him in the 
inclosed letter, which I leave open for your perusal; 
after which be so good as to stick a wafer in it, & 
have it delivered. I had just begun a letter to Maz- 
zei, excusing to him the non -remittance the present 
year, as requested thro you by his family. And I 
should have stated to him with good faith, that the 
war -taxes of the last year, almost equal to the 
amount of our whole income, and a season among 
the most unfavorable to agriculture ever known 
made it a year of war as to it s pressure, & obliged 
me to postpone the commencement of the annual 
remittances until the ensuing spring. The receipt of 
your letter, and of Mr. Carmigniani s only rendered 
it necessary to change the address of mine. The 
sale was made during the war, when the remittance 
of the price was impossible : nor was there here any 
depot for it at that time which would have been safe, 
profitable, and ready to repay the principal on de 
mand. I retained it therefore myself to avoid the 
risk of the banks, to yield the profit the treasury 
could have given, and to admit a command of the 
principal at a shorter term. It was of course, there 
fore that I must invest it in some way to countervail 
the interest, and being but a farmer receiving rents 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 19 

and profits but once a year, it will take time to 
restore it to the form of money again, which I ex 
plained to Mr. Mazzei in the letter I wrote to him at 
the time. Exchange is much against us at present, 
owing to the immense importations made imme 
diately after peace, and to the redundancy of our 
paper medium. The legislatures have generally re 
quired the banks to call in this redundancy. They 
are accordingly curtailing discounts, & collecting 
their debts, so that by the spring, when the first 
remittance will be made, our medium will be greatly 
reduced, and it s value increased proportionably. 
The crop of this year too, when exported will so far 
lessen the foreign debt & the demand for bills of 
exchange. These circumstances taken together 
promise a good reduction in the rate of exchange, 
which you can more fully explain in conversation to 
Mr. Carmigniani. 

I am happy to inform you that the administrator 
of Mr. Bellini has at length settled his account, and 
deposited the balance 635. Dollars 48 cents in the 
bank of Virginia, at Richmond. I think it the safest 
bank in the U. S. and it has been for some time so 
prudently preparing itself for cash payments, as to 
inspire a good degree of confidence, & moreover I 
shall keep my eye on it, but the money while there 
bears no interest; and I did not chuse to take it 
myself on interest reimbursable on demand. It 
would be well then that Mr. Fancelli should with 
draw it as soon as he can; his draught on me shall 
be answered at sight to the holder, by one on the 
bank. In the present state of our exchange, & the 

20 The Writings of [1816 

really critical standing of our merchants at this 
time, I have been afraid to undertake it s remittance, 
because it could only be done by a bill of some mer 
chant here on his correspondent in England, and 
both places are at this time a little suspicious. I 
know nothing so deplorable as the present condition 
of the inhabitants of Europe and do not wonder 
therefore at their desire to come to this country. 
Laborers in any of the arts would find abundant em 
ploy in this state at 100. D. a year & their board 
and lodging. And indeed if a sober good humored 
man understanding the vineyard & kitchen garden 
would come to me on those terms, bound to serve 
4. years, I would advance his passage on his arrival, 
setting it off against his subsequent wages. But he 
must come to the port of Norfolk or Richmond, & 
no where else. If such a one should occur to you, 
you would oblige me by sending him. I remark the 
temporary difficulty you mention of obtaining good 
Montepulciano, and prefer waiting for that, when 
to be had, to a quicker supply of any other kind 
which might not so certainly suit our taste. It 
might not be amiss perhaps to substitute a bottle or 
two as samples of any other wines which would bear 
the voyage, and be of a quality and price to recom 
mend them. You know we like dry wines, or at any 
rate not more than siller y. I salute you with con 
stant friendship and respect. 1 

1 On the subject of this business matter, Jefferson further wrote to 
Giovanni Carmigniani : 


; f " SIR, Within these few days I have received your favor of April 7, 
with certificates of the death of my estimable friend Philip Mazzei, 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 21 


MONTICELLO, July 21. 1 6. 

DEAR SIR, Yours of the loth is received, and I 
have to acknolege a copious supply of the turnip 
seed requested. Besides taking care myself, I shall 

and a copy of his Will. I learn this event with great affliction, altho 
his advanced age had given reason to apprehend it. An intimacy of 
40. years had proved to me his great worth, and a friendship which had 
begun in personal acquaintance, was maintained after separation, 
without abatement by a constant interchange of letters. His esteem 
too in this country was very general ; his early & zealous cooperation 
in the establishment of our independance having acquired for him here 
a great degree of favor^ 

" Having left under my care the property which he had not been able 
to dispose of and to carry with him to Europe, it is some years since I 
had been able to settle all his affairs here, and to have the whole pro 
ceeds remitted to him, except for his house and lot in Richmond. 
This being in the possession of another, a course of law became neces 
sary to recover it, and after the recovery, it was sometime before it 
could be disposed of at a reasonable price. Very favourable circum 
stances however occurring at length, I was enabled to get for it a sum 
very far beyond what had ever been expected or asked. This was in 
the time of our late war with England while a close blockade of our 
harbors cut off all commercial intercourse with Europe, and rendered 
a remittance of the price impossible. The question then arose what 
could be done with the money? Our banks, which had been hereto 
fore considered as safe depositories of money, had excited alarm as to 
their solvability by the profuse emission of their notes; and in fact 
they declared, soon after, their inability to pay their notes, in which 
condition they still continue ; and could they have been trusted with 
the money, no interest would have been allowed by them. It might 
have been lent to the government, who would have paid an interest; 
but then the principal could not have been demanded under 15. or 20 
years, the terms of their loans. I concluded therefore to retain it 
myself, at our legal interest of 6. per cent per annum as the only 
means of avoiding the risk of the banks, of yielding the profit which the 
treasury offered, with the command of the principal at a shorter period. 
But to indemnify myself for the interest I should have to pay, it was 
necessary I should invest it in some profitable course; and to restore 
it again to the form of money, would require some time after the close 
of the war. I explained this in a letter to Mr. Mazzei, and then sup 
posed it might be done at two or three annual instalments, counting 

22 The Writings of [1816 

endeavour again to commit it to the depository of 
the neighborhood, generally found to be the best 
precaution against losing a good thing. * * * I 
will add a word on the political part of our letters. 
I believe we do not differ on either of the points you 

from the close of the war. Altho the cessation of hostilities took 
place in spring of the last year, yet the war contributions continued 
thro the year, aggravated by the most calamitous season for agri 
culture almost ever known. Our term of peace then really began with 
the present year. I was about informing Mr. Mazzei that, counting 
from that period, the principal and interest should be remitted him in 
three annual instalments, when I received the information of his death. 
I had been led to propose to him this delay the less unwillingly, as I 
had received from his family, thro Mr. Appleton, a request not to 
remit the principal, which they feared he would dispose of to loss. 

I have thought this much necessary, Sir, to explain to you the present 
state of this fund, and the reasons why it cannot be remitted but by 
successive instalments. A third with it s interest shall be paid the 
ensuing spring, and the remainder in equal portions the two springs 
following that. The channel of remittance must depend on the cir 
cumstances of the time. The exchange with London at present is 
much against us. But the calls of the banks on their debtors, now 
rapidly going on, by reducing the redundance, of our medium, and the 
produce of agriculture this year, which as an article of remittance, will 
lessen the demand, & consequently the price of bills of exchange, will 
probably produce, by the next spring, a more favorable state of ex 
change for the first remittance. In the meantime I shall receive & 
execute with pleasure & punctuality any instructions you may think 
proper to give me as to the channel and mode of remittance: and, 
receiving none, I will certainly do the best I can for the benefit of Mr. 
Mazzei s family, to whom I will render every service in my power with 
the same zeal I would have done for my deceased friend, of which I 
pray you to give them assurance with the homage of my great respect, 
and to accept yourself the tender of my high consideration." 

A year later, Jefferson wrote to Appleton as follows : 

" MONTICELLO, Aug. I. 17. 

" DEAR SIR, My last to you was of July 18. 16. since which I have 
received yours of May 15. and 30. July 30. Sep. 27 & Oct. 20. of the 
same year, & Mar. 5. of the present, with the seed of the Lupin ella. 
This came to hand too late to be sown this season, and is therefore 
reserved for the ensuing spring. Mr. Madison received what you sent 
him somewhat earlier, & sowed a little (not chusing to venture the 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 23 

suppose: on education certainly not: of which the 
proofs are my bill "for the diffusion of knolege," 
prepared near 40. years ago; and my uniform en 
deavour to this day to get our counties divided into 
wards, one of the principal objects of which is the 

whole). I am recently returned from a visit to him and saw the plants 
just come up. From their appearance we judged them to be a species 
of Saintfoin. The next year however I shall sow the whole of mine, 
and be able to judge of it. 

" In my letter to you of July 18. and one of the same date to Mr. 
Carmigniani, on the subject of Mr. Mazzei s funds I explained the 
situation of this country, which, after being shut up from all means of 
disposing of its produce during a war of 3. years, had experienced 
seasons the most adverse to agriculture which had ever been known. 
At that moment also appearances were unfavorable for the year then 
current ; but in the hope it might change for the better, I ventured to 
promise myself and Mr. Carmigniani that a commencement of remit 
tance of principal and interest should be made in the present year. 
But the drought which was prevailing at the date of my letter, con 
tinued thro the whole season of the growth of our crops, and produced 
a failure in them much greater than in the preceding year; insomuch 
that there has been the greatest distress for bread, which has sold 
generally at 5. times its usual price. Few farmers have made enough 
of other things to pay for their bread ; and the present year has been 
equally afflicting for their crop of wheat, by such an inundation of 
Hessian fly as was never seen before. A great part of my own crop 
has not yielded seed. Whole fields did not give an ear for every 
square foot ; & many turned their cattle on their wheat to make some 
thing of it as pasture. After such a disaster the last year, and so 
gloomy a prospect for the present, following the distresses of the war, 
our farmers are scarcely able to meet the indispensable expences of 
taxes, culture & food for their families and labourers. Under such 
difficulties & prospects, I have not only been unable to make the 
remittance I had promised to Mr. Carmigniani, of the first portion of 
principal and interest, but am really afraid to promise it for the next, 
such are the prospects of the present season ; and unwilling by renewed 
and precise engagements to hazard renewed breaches of them I am 
constrained to sollicit the consent of the family to let the money lie 
awhile in my hands, and to receive remittances of it in portions as 
I can make them. They may be assured they shall be made as soon 
and as fast as would be in my power, were I to engage for specific sums 
and dates. The interest I solemnly engage to send them annually, and 

24 The Writings of [1816 

establishment of a primary school in each. But 
education not being a branch of municipal govern 
ment, but, like the other arts and sciences, an acci 
dent only, I did not place it with election, as a 
fundamental member in the structure of government. 

about this season of the year. I am in hopes that the punctual receipt 
of the interest from hence will be the same to them, as if received from 
a depository there, while it will be a kind accommodation to me ; and I 
hope it the more as this is really money which I recovered out of the 
fire for them, by lawsuits & persevering efforts, & which I am certain 
Mr. Mazzei, no more than myself had never hoped to obtain. With 
respect to the ultimate safety of the principal in my hands, any person 
from this state can satisfy them that my landed property alone is of 
more than fifty times the amount of this sum. Flattering myself then 
that under these circumstances, and where the difference to them is 
only whether they shall receive their interest from A. or from B. I shall 
be indulged with this accommodation, I have remitted to my friend 
John Vaughaii of Philadelphia 400. Dollars to be invested in a good 
bill payable to yourself, with a request to you that you will pay to 
whoever of the family is entitled to receive it, a year s interest, to wit 
380. Dollars 52 cents. Altho I suggest an indulgence indefinite in it s 
particular term, I have no idea of postponing the commencement of my 
remittances, by thirds, more than a year or two longer. If the seasons 
should, against the course of nature hitherto observed continue con 
stantly hostile to our agriculture, I will certainly relieve myself at once 
by a sale of property sufficient to refund this whole debt, a measure 
very disagreeable while the expectation exists of doing it from the 
annual profits ; and the family will be always free to discontinue the 
indulgence if the delay should be protracted unreasonably and incon 
veniently to them. The nett proceeds of the sale of the ground in 
Richmond was 6342, say six thousand three hundred and forty two 
Dollars, received July 1 4. 1 8 1 3 . If the family consents to my proposal, 
I will, on being so informed, settle up the back interest, add it to the 
principal, send them a specific obligation and thenceforth remit 
annually the interest of six per cent, with portions of the principal as 
fast as I shall be able. I think there remains no other item of account 
between Mr. Mazzei and myself, except 50. D. paid to the lawyer 
employed in the recovery & 20. D. to Mr. Derieux by particular 
request of Mr. Mazzei. 

" I write all this to you, because you have hitherto been the mutual 
channel of this business ; for altho Mr. Carmigniani wrote me a letter 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 25 

* * * Nor, I believe, do we differ as to the county 
courts. I acknolege the value of this institution, 
that it is in truth our principal Executive & Ju 
diciary, and that it does much for little pecuniary re 
ward. It is their self -appointment I wish to correct, 

which I answered July 18. as before mentioned, with a full explanation 
of the state of the debt, the circumstances which had occasioned it s 
remaining in my hands, and the remittances proposed, yet the marriage 
of Miss Mazzei with Mr. Pini has, I supposed determined his agency. I 
shall be uneasy until I learn that the family is contented with this 
arrangement, and I will therefore sollicit an early line from you. . . . " 
Still later, he wrote to Appleton : 

" MONTICELLO, July 13, 2O. 

" DEAR SIR, My letters to you, within the last 12. months have been 
of May 28. 19. with the annual remittance to M. & Me. Pini, Sep. 3. 
informing you of a remittance thro Mr. Vaughan of 300. D. for the 
wives of the two Raggis, and Feb. 15. 20. announcing a remittance of 
400. D. for the same persons to pay their passage and expences to the 
U S. Since the last of these your two of Jan. 15. & 21. have been 
received. I wonder much that the remittance of the 300. D. had not 
got to hand at the date of yours of Jan. 21. but that transaction having 
passed between Mr. Vaughan and our Proctor, I am not able to state 
the particulars of it s transmission. I hope however it is long since at 
hand. As to the 400. D. of Feb. last, Mr. Vaughan in a letter of Mar. 
3. says the 400 D. have been received, and I purchased S. Girard s bill 
on Jas. Lafite and Co. Paris at 60. days to order of Thos. Appleton for 
2135 90/100 equal to 403. D. which I have forwarded to him under 
cover to Bernard Henry, Gibraltar, by the Newburn, Capt. Gushing 
via Maderia, & duplicate by the Pleiades Capt. West direct to Gibraltar, 
under care of a friend. The 3d I shall send via New York. By the 
Pleiades I sent your letter to Mr. Appleton. Since your information 
as to the post thro Spain I much regret that this last remittance has 
gone by Gibraltar. Altho I should have supposed opportunities from 
that to Leghorn by sea could not have been rare. However I shall 
caution Mr. Vaughan against it in future, and recommend London & 
Paris, perhaps also Marseilles where an opportunity to Leghorn direct 
does not occur. 

" In mine of Feb. 15. I mentioned that I should make my annual 
remittance to M. & Me Pini in April or May. I am however to this 
date before it could be done. The extraordinary embarrassments 
produced by the sudden withdrawing of one half of our circulating 
medium has in a great measure suspended money transactions. 9. out 

26 The Writings of [1816 

to find some means of breaking up a Cabal, when 
such a one gets possession of the bench. When 
this takes place, it becomes the most afflicting of 
tyrannies, because it s powers are so various, and 
exercised on every thing most immediately around 

of 10. of the banks of the different states have blown up; the adven 
turers calling themselves merchants, who had been trading on bank 
credits, have been swept away. Those who stood the ordeal still 
suspend their business, from caution, till the storm shall be over, so 
that from want of medium, and the want of purchasers at market, 
property & produce are fallen one half. We had 18. month ago 6. 
millions of Dollars in circulation in this state, of paper; we have but 3 
millions now. Produce, say flour sold from 8. to 16. D. a barrel. It is 
now at 4. D. This extraordinary curtailment in the profits of the year 
has brought on a general distress, unknown before in the annals of our 
country. Before this explosion in our commerce, I had hoped myself 
to have been able in good time to remit the principal of my debt to M. 
& Me Pini, from the annual profits of my estate : but the fall in the price 
of produce, likely to continue some time yet, has induced me to give up 
that hope and to determine on the sale of property sufficient for that 
paiment. This I will certainly do as soon as the present suspension of 
buying and selling ceases, and bidders at a fair price return into the 
market. At this time nothing can be sold at half price. These 
difficulties have made me a little later than I had expected in the 
remittance of interest this year to M. & Me Pini. I have now placed in 
Mr. Vaughan s hands 444 D. with a request to vest it in a bill of Mr. 
Girard on Paris, (the most solid channel of remittance, and indulged to 
me as a favor,) and to send it via Paris or London, or both; so that I 
hope it will have a safe and speedy passage to you. . . . 

" P. S. June 30. 20. I had written thus far when your favor of May 
1 8. came to hand. The remittance of 300. D. for the Raggis, men 
tioned in my letter from Poplar Forest, I find on enquiry was not 
carried into execution. The Proctor informs me that they soon after 
changed their minds, concluded to send for their wives, which requir 
ing a larger sum, produced delay till the state of their accounts admitted 
it, this brought on winter and finally the remittance of 400. D. was 
made only in time for them to sail in spring. On the subject of what I 
owe to Mr. Mazzei s representatives. I had already made up my mind 
to clear it out as soon as possible. Like thousands of others, I had 
sustained some losses by being security for a friend who failed under 
the late general bankruptcies. This not admitting the delay of annual 
crops I had come to the resolution of selling some unprofitable property 

Thomas Jefferson 27 

us. And how many instances have you and I known 
of these monopolies of county administration! I 
know a county in which a particular family (a num 
erous one) got possession of the bench, and for a 
whole generation, never admitted a man on it who 
was not of it s clan or connection. I know a county 
now of 1500. militia, of which 60. are federalists. 
It s court is of 30. members of whom 20. are federal 
ists (every third man of the sect) wherein there are 
large and populous districts, without a justice, because 
without a federalist for appointment, and the militia 
as disproportionably under federal officers ; and there 
is no authority on earth which can break up this junto 
short of a general convention. The remaining 1440 
free, fighting, & paying citizens are governed by 
men neither of their choice nor confidence & with 
out a hope of relief. They are certainly excluded 
from the blessings of a free government for life, & 
indefinitely for ought the constitution has provided. 
This solecism may be called anything but republican, 
and ought undoubtedly to be corrected. I salute 
you with constant friendship and respect. 

to pay at once and to make the sale sufficient to discharge the debt to 
M. & Me Pini. As yet however nothing can be sold. All confidence is 
suspended, and fear takes it s place. The grounds for example in 
Richmd of Mr. Mazzei which sold for 643 2 D. could not now be sold for 
1500 D. It will probably be another year before the fair prices of 
things are settled and proportioned to the reduction of circulating 
medium. I shall certainly take advantage of the first possibilities of 
disposing of property to disengage myself. It is this same state of 
commerce which has delayed to this date the remittance of this year s 
interest: I salute you with constant & affectionate friendship and 

28 The Writings of [1816 


MONTICELLO, July 26, 1816. 

DEAR SIR, In compliance with the request of 
your letter of the 6th inst., with respect to Peyton 
Randolph, I have to observe that the difference of 
age between him and myself admitted my knowing 
little of his early life, except what I accidentally 
caught from occasional conversations. I was a stu 
dent at college when he was already Attorney Gen 
eral at the bar, and a man of established years ; and 
I had no intimacy with him until I went to the bar 
myself, when, I suppose, he must have been upwards 
of forty; from that time, and especially after I be 
came a member of the legislature, until his death, 
our intimacy was cordial, and I was with him when 
he died. Under these circumstances, I have com 
mitted to writing as many incidents of his life as 
memory enabled me to do, and to give faith to the 
many and excellent qualities he possessed, I have 
mentioned those minor ones which he did not pos 
sess; considering true history, in which all will be 
believed, as preferable to unqualified panegyric, in 
which nothing is believed. I avoided, too, the men 
tion of trivial incidents, which, by not distinguishing, 
disparage a character; but I have not been able to 
state early dates. Before forwarding this paper to 
you, I received a letter from Peyton Randolph, his 
great nephew, repeating the request you had made. 
I therefore put the paper under a blank cover, ad 
dressed to you, unsealed, and sent it to Peyton Ran 
dolph, that he might see what dates as well as what 
incidents might be collected, supplementary to mine, 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 29 

and correct any which I had inexactly stated; cir 
cumstances may have been misremembered, but 
nothing, I think, of substance. This account of Pey 
ton Randolph, therefore, you may expect to be for 
warded by his nephew. 

You requested me when here, to communicate to 
you the particulars of two transactions in which I 
was myself an agent, to wit: the coup de main of 
Arnold on Richmond, and Tarleton s on Charlottes- 
ville. I now enclose them, detailed with an exact 
ness on which you may rely with an entire confidence. 
But, having an insuperable aversion to be drawn 
into controversy in the public papers, I must request 
not to be quoted either as to these or the account of 
Peyton Randolph. Accept the assurances of my 
esteem and respect. 1 


Peyton Randolph was the eldest son of Sir John Randolph, of 
Virginia, a barrister-at-law, and an eminent practitioner at the bar of 
the General Court. Peyton was educated at the College of William 
and Mary in Williamsburg, and thence went to England, and studied 
law at the Temple. At his return he intermarried with Elizabeth 
Harrison, sister of the afterwards Governor Harrison, entered into 
practice in the General Court, was afterwards appointed the King s 
Attorney-General for the colony, and became a representative in the 
House of Burgesses (then so called) for the city of Williamsburg. 

Governor Dinwiddie having, about this period, introduced the 
exaction of a new fee on his signature of grants for lands, without the 
sanction of any law, the House of Burgesses remonstrated against it, 
and sent Peyton Randolph to England, as their agent, to oppose it 
before the king and council. The interest of the governor, as usual, 
prevailed against that of the colony, and his new exaction was con 
firmed by the king. 

After Braddock s defeat on the Monongahela, in 1755, the incur 
sions of the Indians on our frontiers spread panic and dismay through 
the whole country, insomuch that it was scarcely possible to procure 
men, either as regulars or militia, to go against them. To counteract 
this terror and to set a good example, a number of the wealthiest 

30 The Writings of [ Z 8i6 


MONTICELLO Aug. 2. 1 6. 

DEAR SIR, Mrs. Randolph, Ellen & myself in 
tended before this to have had the pleasure of seeing 
Mrs Madison and yourself at Montpelier as we men- 
individuals of the colony, and the highest standing in it, in public as 
well as in their private relations, associated under obligations to furnish 
each of them two able-bodied men, at their own expense, to form 
themselves into a regiment under the denomination of the Virginia 
Blues, to join the colonial force on the frontier, and place themselves 
under its commander, George Washington, then a colonel. They 
appointed William Byrd, a member of the council, colonel of the regi 
ment, and Peyton Randolph, I think, had also some command. But 
the original associators had more the will than the power of becoming 
effective soldiers. Born and bred in the lap of wealth, all the habits of 
their lives were of ease, indolence, and indulgence. Such men were 
little fitted to sleep under tents, and often without them, to be exposed 
to all the intemperances of the seasons, to swim rivers, range the woods, 
climb mountains, wade morasses, to skulk behind trees, and contend as 
sharp-shooters with the savages of the wilderness, who, in all the 
scenes and exercises, would be in their natural element. Accordingly, 
the commander was more embarrassed with their care, than reinforced 
by their service. They had the good fortune to see no enemy, and to 
return at the end of the campaign rewarded by the favor of the public 
for this proof of their generous patriotism and good will. 

When afterwards, in 1764, on the proposal of the Stamp Act, the 
House of Burgesses determined to send an address against it to the 
king, and memorials to the Houses of Lords and Commons, Peyton 
Randolph, George Wythe, and (I think) Robert C. Nicholas, were 
appointed to draw these papers. That to the king was by Peyton 
Randolph, and the memorial to the Commons was by George Wythe. 
It was on the ground of these papers that those gentlemen opposed the 
famous resolutions of Mr. Henry in 1765, to wit, that the principles of 
these resolutions had been asserted and maintained in the address and 
memorials of the year before, to which an answer was yet to be ex 

On the death of the speaker, Robinson, in 1766, Peyton Randolph 
was elected speaker. He resigned his office of Attorney-General, in 
which he was succeeded by his brother Randolph, father of the late 
Edmund Randolph, and retired from the bar. He now devoted him 
self solely to his duties as a legislator, and although sound in his 

1 From the Historical Magazine, xiv., 247. 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 31 

tioned to Mr Coles; but three days ago Mrs Ran 
dolph was taken with a fever, which has confined her 
to her bed ever since. It is so moderate that we are 
in the hourly hope of its leaving her and, after a 

principles, and going steadily with us in opposition to the British 
usurpations, he, with the other older members, yielded the lead to the 
younger, only tempering their ardor, and so far moderating their pace 
as to prevent their going too far in advance of the public sentiment. 

On the establishment of a committee by the legislature, to cor 
respond with the other colonies, he was named their chairman, and 
their first proposition to the other colonies was to appoint similar 
committees, who might consider the expediency of calling a general 
Congress of deputies in order to procure a harmony of procedure 
among the whole. This produced the call of the first Congress, to 
which he was chosen a delegate, by the House of Burgesses, and of 
which he was appointed, by that Congress, its president. 

On the receipt of what was called Lord North s conciliatory pro 
position, in 1775, Lord Dunmore called the General Assembly, and 
laid it before them. Peyton Randolph quitted the chair of Congress, 
in which he was succeeded by Mr. Hancock, and repaired to that of the 
House which had deputed him. Anxious about the tone and spirit of 
the answer which should be given (because being the first it might 
have effect on those of the other colonies), and supposing that a 
younger pen would be more likely to come up to the feelings of the 
body he had left, he requested me to draw the answer, and steadily 
supported and carried it through the House, with a few softenings 
only from the more timid members. 

After the adjournment of the House of Burgesses he returned to 
Congress, and died there of an apoplexy, on the 22d of October follow 
ing, aged, as I should conjecture, about fifty years. 

He was indeed a most excellent man; and none was ever more 
beloved and respected by his friends. Somewhat cold and coy 
towards strangers, but of the sweetest affability when ripened into 
acquaintance. Of attic pleasantry in conversation, always good 
humored and conciliatory. With a sound and logical head, he was 
well read in the law; and his opinions, when consulted, were highly 
regarded, presenting always a learned and sound view of the subject, 
but generally, too, a listlessness to go into its thorough development; 
for being heavy and inert in body, he was rather too indolent and 
careless for business, which occasioned him to get a smaller proportion 
of it at the bar than his abilities would otherwise have commanded. 
Indeed, after his appointment as Attorney-General, he did not seem 

32 The Writings of [1816 

little time to recruit her strength, of carrying her 
purpose into execution, which we shall lose no time 
in doing. In the meantime I salute Mrs Madison & 
yourself with unceasing affection & respect. 


MONTICELLO, September 4, 1816. 

DEAR SIR, I have read, with great delight, the 
portion of the history of Mr. Henry which you have 
been so kind as to favour me with, and which is now 
returned. And I can say, from my own knowledge 
of the contemporary characters introduced into the 
canvas, that you have given them quite as much 
lustre as themselves would have asked. The exact 
ness, too, of your details has, in several instances, 
corrected their errors in my own recollections, where 
they had begun to falter. 

In result, I scarcely find anything needing revisal ; 

to court, nor scarcely to welcome, business. In that office he con 
sidered himself equally charged with the rights of the colony as with 
those of the crown ; and in criminal prosecutions, exaggerating nothing, 
he aimed at a candid and just state of the transaction, believing it more 
a duty to save an innocent than to convict a guilty man. Although 
not eloquent, his matter was so substantial that no man commanded 
more attention, which, joined with a sense of his great worth, gave 
him a weight in the House of Burgesses which few ever attained. He 
was liberal in his expenses but correct also, so as not to be involved in 
pecuniary embarrassments; and with a heart always open to the 
amiable sensibilities of our nature, he did as many good acts as could 
have been done with his fortune, without injuriously impairing his 
means of continuing them. He left no issue, and gave his fortune to 
his widow and nephew, the late Edmund Randolph. 

1 From Kennedy s Memoirs of W. Wt rt, i., 362. 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 33 

yet, to show you that I have scrupulously sought 
occasions of animadversion, I will particularize the 
following passages, which I noted as I read them. 

Page 1 1 : I think this passage had better be mod 
erated. That Mr. Henry read Livy through once a 
year is a known impossibility with those who knew 
him. He may have read him once, and some gen 
eral history of Greece; but certainly not twice. A 
first reading of a book he could accomplish some 
times and on some subjects, but never a second. He 
knew well the geography of his own country, but 
certainly never made any other a study. So, as to 
our ancient charters ; he had probably read those in 
Stith s history; but no man ever more undervalued 
chartered titles than himself. He drew all natural 
rights from a purer source the feelings of his own 
breast. * * * 

He never, in conversation or debate, mentioned 
a hero, a worthy, or a fact in Greek or Roman his 
tory, but so vaguely and loosely as to leave room to 
back out, if he found he had blundered. 

The study and learning ascribed to him, in this 
passage, would be inconsistent with the excellent and 
just picture given of his indolence through the rest 
of the work. 

Page 33, line 4: Inquire further into the fact 
alleged that Henry was counsel for Littlepage. I 
am much persuaded he was counsel for Dandridge. 
There was great personal antipathy between him and 
Littlepage, and the closest intimacy with Dandridge, 
who was his near neighbor, in whose house he was 
at home as one of the family, who was his earliest 

VOL. XII. 3. 

34 The Writings of [1816 

and greatest admirer and patron, and whose daugh 
ter became, afterwards, his second wife. 

It was in his house that, during a course of Christ 
mas festivities, I first became acquainted with Mr. 
Henry. This, it is true, is but presumptive evi 
dence, and may be overruled by direct proof. But 
I am confident he could never have undertaken any 
case against Dandridge; considering the union of 
their bosoms, it would have been a great crime. 1 

*** f^ *** 


MONTICELLO, September 8, 1816. 

DEAR SIR, The jealousy of the European govern 
ments rendering it unsafe to pass letters through 
their postoffices, I am obliged to borrow the protec 
tion of your cover to procure a safe passage for the 

1 Jefferson further wrote to Wirt concerning his Life of Patrick 
Henry : 

" POPLAR FOREST, November 12, 1816. 

" DEAR SIR, Yours of October 23d, was received here on the 3ist, 
with the latest sheets of your work. 

" They found me engaged in a business which could not be postponed . 
and have therefore been detained longer than I wished. 

" On the subject of our ancient aristocracy, I believe I have said 
nothing which all who knew them will not confirm, and which their 
reasonable descendants may not learn from every quarter. It was 
the effect of the large accumulation of property under the law of 

" The suppression of entails reduced the spirit of the rich, while the 
increased influence given by the new government to the people, raised 
theirs, and brought things to their present level, from a condition which 
the present generation, who have not seen it, can scarcely believe or 

" You ask if I think your work would be the better of retrenchment? 
By no means. I have seen nothing in it which could be retrenched 
but to disadvantage. And again, whether, as a friend, I would advise 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 35 

enclosed letter to Madame de Stael, and to ask the 
favor of you to have it delivered at the hotel of M. 
de Lessert without passing through the post-office. 

In your answer of June 7 to mine of May 18, you 
mentioned that you did not understand to what pro 
ceeding of Congress I alluded as likely to produce a 
removal of most of the members, and that by a 
spontaneous movement of the people, unsuggested 
by the newspapers, which had been silent on it. I 
alluded to the law giving themselves 1500 D. a year. 
There has never been an instant before of so unani 
mous an opinion of the people, and that through 
every State in the Union. A very few members of 
the first order of merit in the House will be re-elected, 
Clay, of Kentucky, by a small majority, and a few 
others. But the almost entire mass will go out, not 

its publication? On that question, I have no hesitation on your ac 
count, as well as that of the public. To the latter, it will be valuable; 
and honourable to yourself. 

" You must expect to be criticised; and, by a former letter I see you 
expect it. By the Quarterly Reviewers you will be hacked and hewed, 
with tomahawk and scalping-knife. Those of Edinburgh, with the 
same anti- American prejudices, but sometimes considering us as allies 
against their administration, will do it more decently. 

" They will assume, as a model for biography, the familiar manner of 
Plutarch, or scanty manner of Nepos, and try you, perhaps, by these 
tests. But they can only prove that your style is different from theirs ; 
not that it is not good. 

" I have always very much dispised the artificial canons of criticism. 
When I have read a work in prose or poetry, or seen a painting, a statue, 
etc., I have only asked myself whether it gives me pleasure, whether 
it is animating, interesting, attaching? If it is, it is good for these 
reasons. On these grounds you will be safe. Those who take up 
your book, will find they cannot lay it down, and this will be its best 

"You have certainly practised vigorously the precept of de mortuis 
nil nisi bonum. This presents a very difficult question, whether 
one only or both sides of the medal shall be presented. It constitutes, 

36 The Writings of [1816 

only those who supported the law or voted for it, or 
skulked from the vote, but those who voted against 
it or opposed it actively, if they took the money; 
and the examples of refusals to take it were very 

perhaps, the distinction between panegyric and history. On this, 
opinions are much divided and, perhaps, may be so on this feature 
of your work. On the whole, however, you have nothing to fear; at 
least if my views are not very different from the common. And no 
one will see its appearance with more pleasure than myself, as no one 
can, with more truth, give you assurances of great respect and affec 
tionate attachment." 

" POPLAR FOREST. Sep. 29, 16. 

" DEAR SIR, I found, on my arrival here the 2d parcel of your sheets, 
which I have read with the same avidity and pleasure as the former. 
This proves they will experience no delay in my hands, and that I 
consider them as worthy everything I can do for them. They need 
indeed but little, or rather I should say nothing. I have however 
hazarded some suggestions on a paper inclosed. When I read the 
former sheets, I did not consider the article of style as within my 
jurisdiction. However since you ask observations on that, and sug 
gest doubts entertained by yourself on a particular quality of it, I will 
candidly say that I think some passages of the former sheets too 
flowery for the sober taste of history. It will please young readers in 
it s present form, but to the older it would give more pleasure and 
confidence to have some exuberances lightly pruned. I say lightly, 
because your style is naturally rich and captivating, and would suffer 
if submitted to the rasp of a rude hand. A few excrescences may be 
rubbed off by a delicate touch; but better too little than too much 
correction. In the 26. parcel of sheets, altho read with an eye to your 
request, I have found nothing of this kind. I thus comply with your 
desire; but on the condition originally prescribed, that you shall 
consider my observations as mere suggestions, meant to recall the sub 
ject to a revision by yourself, and that no change be made in conse 
quence of them but on the confirmed dictates of your own judgement. 
I have no amour-propre which will suffer by having hazarded a false 
criticism. On the contrary I should regret were the genuine character 
of your composition to be adulterated by any foreign ingredient. I 
return to Albermarle within a week. Shall stay there 10. days, come 
back and pass here October and part of November. I salute you 

" MONTICELLO, Oct. 8, l6. 

" DEAR SIR, I received your 3d parcel of sheets just as I was leaving 
Poplar Forest, and have read them with the usual pleasure. They 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 37 

few. The next Congress, then, Federal as well as 
Republican, will be almost wholly of new members. 
We have had the most extraordinary year of 
drought and cold ever known in the history of Amer 
ica. In June, instead of 3! inches, our average of 
rain for that month, we only had of an inch; in 

relate however to the period of time exactly, during which I was absent 
in Europe. Consequently I am without knolege of the facts they 
state. Indeed they are mostly new history to me. 

" On the subject of style they are not liable to the doubts I hazarded 
on the ist parcel, unless a short passage in page 198, should be thought 
too poetical. Indeed as I read the 26. & 3d parcels with attentions to 
style and found them not subject to the observations I made on the 
first, (which were from memory only, & after I had parted with them) 
I have suspected that a revisal might have corrected my opinion on the 
i st. Of this however you will judge. One only fact in the last sheets 
was within my knolege, that relating to Philips, and on this I had 
formerly given you explanations. I am very glad indeed that you 
have examined the records, and established truth in this case. How 
Mr. Randolph could indulge himself in a statement of facts, so solemnly 
made, the falsehood of every article of which had been known to him 
self particularly; and how Mr. Henry could be silent under such a 
perversion of facts known to himself, agreed on at a consultation with 
members whom he invited to the palace to advise with on the occasion, 
and done at his request according to what was concluded, is perfectly 
unaccountable. Not that I consider Mr. Randolph as misstating 
intentionally, or desiring to boulster an argument at the expence of an 
absent person : for there were no unsocial dispositions between him & 
myself ; and as little do I impute to Mr. Henry any willingness to leave 
on my shoulders a charge which he could so easily have disproved. 
The fact must have been that they were both out of their heads on that 
occasion. Still not the less injuriously to me, whom Mr. Randolph 
might as well have named, as the journals shewed I was the first 
named of the Committee. Would it be out of place for you to refer by 
a note to the countenance which Judge Tucker has given to this mis 
representation, by making strictures on it, in his Blackstone, as if it 
were true ? It is such a calumny on our revolutionary government as 
should be eradicated from history, and especially from that of this 
state, which justly prides itself on having gone thro the revolution 
without a single example of capital punishment connected with that. 
Ever affectionately yours." 

38 The Writings of [1816 

August, instead of 9^- inches our average, we had 
only f 8 ^ of an inch; and still it continues. The 
summer, too, has been as cold as a moderate winter. 
In every State north of this there has been frost in 
every month of the year ; in this State we had none 
in June and July, but those of August killed much 
corn over the mountains. The crop of corn through 
the Atlantic States will probably be less than one- 
third of an ordinary one, that of tobacco still less, 
and of mean quality. The crop of wheat was mid 
dling in quantity, but excellent in quality. But 
every species of bread grain taken together will not 
be sufficient for the subsistence of the inhabitants, 
and the exportation of flour, already begun by the 
indebted and the improvident, to whatsoever degree 
it may be carried, will be exactly so much taken 
from the mouths of our own citizens. My anxieties 
on this subject are the greater, because I remember 
the deaths which the drought of 1755 in Virginia 
produced from the want of food. 

There are not to be the smallest opposition to the 
election of Monroe and Tompkins, the Republicans 
being undivided and the Federalists desperate. The 
Hartford Convention and peace of Ghent have nearly 
annihilated them. 

Our State is becoming clamorous for a convention 
and amendment for their constitution, and I believe 
will obtain it. It was the first constitution formed in 
the United States, and of course the most imperfect. 
The other States improved in theirs in proportion as 
new precedents were added, and most of them have 
since amended. We have entered on a liberal plan 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 39 

of internal improvements, and the universal appro 
bation of it will encourage and insure its prosecution. 
I recollect nothing else domestic worth noting to you, 
and therefore place here my respectful and affection 
ate salutations. 



MONTICELLO, October 16, 1816. 

DEAR SIR, If it be proposed to place an inscrip 
tion on the capitol, the lapidary style requires that 
essential facts only should be stated, and these with 
a brevity admitting no superfluous word. The essen 
tial facts in the two inscriptions proposed are these: 

GRESS 1817. 

The reasons for this brevity are that the letters must 
be of extraordinary magnitude to be read from be 
low ; that little space is allowed them, being usually 
put into a pediment or in a frize, or on a small tablet 
on the wall; and in our case, a third reason may be 
added, that no passion can be imputed to this in 
scription, every word being justifiable from the most 
classical examples. 

But a question of more importance is whether there 
should be one at all ? The barbarism of the conflagra 
tion will immortalize that of the nation. It will place 
them forever in degraded comparison with the exe 
crated Bonaparte, who, in possession of almost every 
capitol in Europe, injured no one. Of this, history will 
take care, which all will read, while our inscription will 

40 The Writings of [1816 

be seen by few. Great Britain, in her pride and as 
cendency, has certainly hated and despised us beyond 
every earthly object. Her hatred may remain, but 
the hour of her contempt is passed and is succeeded 
by dread ; not at present, but a distant and deep one. 
It is the greater as she feels herself plunged into an 
abyss of ruin from which no human means point out 
an issue. We also have more reason to hate her than 
any nation on earth. But she is not now an object 
for hatred. She is falling from her transcendant 
sphere, which all men ought to have wished, but not 
that she should lose all place among nations. It is 
for the interest of all that she should be maintained, 
nearly on a par with other members of the republic of 
nations. Her power, absorbed into that of any 
other, would be an object of dread to all, and to us 
more than all, because we are accessible to her alone 
and through her alone. The armies of Bonaparte 
with the fleets of Britain, would change the aspect of 
our destinies. Under these prospects should we per 
petuate hatred against her ? Should we not, on the 
contrary, begin to open ourselves to other and more 
rational dispositions ? It is not improbable that the 
circumstances of the war and her own circumstances 
may have brought her wise men to begin to view us 
with other and even with kindred eyes. Should not 
our wise men, then, lifted above the passions of the 
ordinary citizen, begin to contemplate what will be 
the interests of our country on so important a change 
among the elements which influence it? I think it 
would be better to give her time to show her present 
temper, and to prepare the minds of our citizens for 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 4 1 

a corresponding change of disposition, by acts of 
comity towards England rather than by commemo 
ration of hatred. These views might be greatly ex 
tended. Perhaps, however, they are premature, and 
that I may see the ruin of England nearer than it 
really is. This will be matter of consideration with 
those to whose councils we have committed ourselves, 
and whose wisdom, I am sure, will conclude on what 
is best. Perhaps they may let it go off on the single 
and short consideration that the thing can do no 
good, and may do harm. Ever and affectionately 


DEAR SIR, I received here (where I pass a good 
deal of my time) your favor of Oct. 22. covering a 
Prospectus of a new edition of your Olive branch. 
I subscribe to it with pleasure, because I believe it 
has done and will do much good, in holding up the 
mirror to both parties, and exhibiting to both their 
political errors. That I have had my share of them, 
I am not vain enough to doubt, and some indeed I 
have recognized. There is one however which I do 
not, altho charged to my account, in your book, and 
as that is the subject of this letter, & I have my pen 
in my hand, I will say a very few words on it. It 
is my rejection of a British treaty without laying it 
before the Senate. It has never, I believe, been 
denied that the President may reject a treaty after 
it s ratification has been advised by the Senate, then 

42 The Writings of 

certainly he may before that advice: and if he has 
made up his mind to reject it, it is more respectful to 
the Senate to do it without, than against their ad 
vice. It must not be said that their advice may cast 
new light on it. Their advice is a bald resolution of 
yea or nay, without assigning a single reason or 

You ask if I mean to publish anything on the 
subject of a letter of mine to my friend Charles 
Thompson ? Certainly not. I write nothing for pub 
lication, and last of all things should it be on the 
subject of religion. On the dogmas of religion as dis 
tinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from 
the beginning of the world to this day, have been 
quarrelling, fighting, burning and torturing one an 
other, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves 
and to all others, and absolutely beyond the com 
prehension of the human mind. Were I to enter on 
that arena, I should only add an unit to the number 
of Bedlamites. Accept the assurance of my great 
esteem and respect. 



DEAR SIR, I received your favor of Oct. 16, at 
this place, where I pass much of my time, very dis 
tant from Monticello. I am quite astonished at the 
idea which seems to have got abroad; that I pro 
pose publishing something on the subject of religion, 
and this is said to have arisen from a letter of mine 
to my friend Charles Thompson, in which certainly 

1816] Thomas Jefferson 43 

there is no trace of such an idea. When we see re 
ligion split into so many thousand of sects, and I 
may say Christianity itself divided into it s thou 
sands also, who are disputing, anathematizing and 
where the laws permit burning and torturing one 
another for abstractions which no one of them under 
stand, and which are indeed beyond the comprehen 
sion of the human mind, into which of the chambers 
of this Bedlam would a [torn] man wish to thrust 
himself. The sum of all religion as expressed by it s 
best preacher, "fear god and love thy neighbor " con 
tains no mystery, needs no explanation. But this 
wont do. It gives no scope to make dupes; priests 
could not live by it. Your idea of the moral obliga 
tions of governments are perfectly correct. The man 
who is dishonest as a statesman would be a dishonest 
man in any station. It is strangely absurd to sup 
pose that a million of human beings collected to 
gether are not under the same moral laws which bind 
each of them separately. It is a great consolation 
to me that our government, as it cherishes most it s 
duties to its own citizens, so is it the most exact in 
it s moral conduct towards other nations. I do not 
believe that in the four administrations which have 
taken place, there has been a single instance of de 
parture from good faith towards other nations. We 
may sometimes have mistaken our rights, or made 
an erroneous estimate of the actions of others, but 
no voluntary wrong can be imputed to us. In this 
respect England exhibits the most remarkable phae- 
nomenon in the universe in the contrast between the 
profligacy of it s government and the probity of it s 

44 The Writings of [1817 

citizens. And accordingly it is now exhibiting an 
example of the truth of the maxim that virtue & 
interest are inseparable. It ends, as might have 
been expected, in the ruin of it s people, but this ruin 
will fall heaviest, as it ought to fall on that heredi 
tary aristocracy which has for generations been 
preparing the catastrophe. I hope we shall take 
warning from the example and crush in it s birth the 
aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare 
already to challenge our government to a trial of 
strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country. 
Present me respectfully to Mrs. Logan and accept 
yourself my friendly and respectful salutations. 


MONTICELLO, January n, 1817. 

I owe you, dear Madam, a thousand thanks for the 
letters communicated in your favor of December 
1 5th, and now returned. They give me more infor 
mation than I possessed before, of the family of Mr. 
Tracy. But what is infinitely interesting, is the scene 
of the exchange of Louis XVIII. for Bonaparte. 
What lessons of wisdom Mr. Adams must have 
read in that short space of time ! More than fall to 
the lot of others in the course of a long life. Man, 
and the man of Paris, under those circumstances, 
must have been a subject of profound speculation! 
It would be a singular addition to that spectacle, to 
see the same beast in the cage of St. Helena, like 
a lion in the tower. That is probably the closing 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 45 

verse of the chapter of his crimes. But not so with 
Louis. He has other vicissitudes to go through. 

I communicated the letters, according to your per 
mission, to my grand-daughter, Ellen Randolph, who 
read them with pleasure and edification. She is justly 
sensible of, and flattered by your kind notice of her ; 
and additionally so, by the favorable recollections 
of our northern visiting friends. If Monticello has 
anything which has merited their remembrance, 
it gives it a value the more in our estimation; and 
could I, in the spirit of your wish, count back 
wards a score of years, it would not be long before 
Ellen and myself would pay our homage personally 
to Quincy. But those twenty years! Alas! where 
are they ? With those beyond the flood. Our next 
meeting must then be in the country to which they 
have flown, a country for us not now very distant. 
For this journey we shall need neither gold nor silver 
in our purse, nor scrip, nor coats, nor staves. Nor is 
the provision for it more easy than the preparation 
has been kind. Nothing proves more than this, that 
the Being who presides over the world is essentially 
benevolent. Stealing from us, one by one, the fac 
ulties of enjoyment, searing our sensibilities, leading 
us, like the horse in his mill, round and round the 
same beaten circle, 

To see what we have seen, 

To taste the tasted, and at each return 
Less tasteful ; o er our palates to decant 
Another vintage 

Until satiated and fatigued with this leaden itera 
tion, we ask our own conge. I heard once a very 

46 The Writings of [1817 

old friend, who had troubled himself with neither 
poets nor philosophers, say the same thing in plain 
prose, that he was tired of pulling off his shoes and 
stockings at night, and putting them on again in the 
morning. The wish to stay here is thus gradually 
extinguished ; but not so easily that of returning, 
once in awhile, to see how things have gone on. 
Perhaps, however, one of the elements of future 
felicity is to be a constant and unimpassioned view 
of what is passing here. If so, this may well supply 
the wish of occasional visits. Mercier has given us a 
vision of the year 2440; but prophecy is one thing, 
and history another. On the whole, however, per 
haps it is wise and well to be contented with the 
good things which the master of the feast places be 
fore us, and to be thankful for what we have, rather 
than thoughtful about what we have not. You and 
I, dear Madam, have already had more than an or 
dinary portion of life, and more, too, of health than 
the general measure. On this score I owe boundless 
thankfulness. Your health was, some time ago, not 
so good as it has been ; and I perceive in the letters 
communicated, some complaints still. I hope it is 
restored ; and that life and health may be continued 
to you as many years as yourself shall wish, is the 
sincere prayer of your affectionate and respectful 


MONTICELLO, January n, 1817. 

DEAR SIR, Forty -three volumes read in one year, 
and twelve of them quarto! Dear Sir, how I envy 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 47 

you! Half a dozen octavos in that space of time, 
are as much as I am allowed. I can read by candle 
light only, and stealing long hours from my rest; 
nor would that time be indulged to me, could I by 
that light see to write. From sunrise to one or two 
o clock, and often from dinner to dark, I am drudg 
ing at the writing table. And all this to answer let 
ters into which neither interest nor inclination on 
my part enters; and often from persons whose 
names I have never before heard. Yet, writing civ 
illy, it is hard to refuse them civil answers. This is 
the burthen of my life, a very grievous one indeed, 
and one which I must get rid of. Delaplaine lately 
requested me to give him a line on the subject of his 
book; meaning, as I well knew, to publish it. This 
I constantly refuse; but in this instance yielded, 
that in saying a word for him, I might say two for 
myself. I expressed in it freely my sufferings from 
this source; hoping it would have the effect of an 
indirect appeal to the discretion of those, strangers 
and others, who, in the most friendly dispositions, 
oppress me with their concerns, their pursuits, their 
projects, inventions and speculations, political, moral, 
religious, mechanical, mathematical, historical, &c., 
&c., &c. I hope the appeal will bring me relief, and 
that I shall be left to exercise and enjoy correspon 
dence with the friends I love, and on subjects which 
they, or my own inclinations present. In that case, 
your letters shall not be so long on my files unan 
swered, as sometimes they have been, to my great 

To advert now to the subjects of those of Decem- 

48 The Writings of [1817 

ber the i2th and i6th. Tracy s Commentaries on 
Montesquieu have never been published in the orig 
inal. Duane printed a translation from the original 
manuscript a few years ago. It sold, I believe, read 
ily, and whether a copy can now be had, I doubt. If 
it can, you will receive it from my bookseller in 
Philadelphia, to whom I now write for that purpose. 
Tracy comprehends, under the word " Ideology," all 
the subjects which the French term Morale, as the 
correlative to Physique. His works on Logic, Gov 
ernment, Political Economy and Morality, he con 
siders as making up the circle of ideological subjects, 
or of those which are within the scope of the under 
standing, and not of the senses. His Logic occupies 
exactly the ground of Locke s work on the Under 
standing. The translation of that on Political 
Economy is now printing ; but it is no translation of 
mine. I have only had the correction of it, which 
was, indeed, very laborious. Le premier jet having 
been by some one who understood neither French 
nor English, it was impossible to make it more than 
faithful. But it is a valuable work. 

The result of your fifty or sixty years of religious 
reading, in the four words, "Be just and good," is 
that in which all our inquiries must end; as the 
riddles of all the priesthoods end in four more, il ubi 
panis, ibi deus." What all agree in, is probably 
right. What no two agree in, most probably wrong. 
One of our fan -coloring biographers, who paints 
small men as very great, inquired of me lately with 
real affection too, whether he might consider as au 
thentic, the change of my religion much spoken of in 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 49 

some circles. Now this supposed that they knew 
what had been my religion before, taking for it the 
word of their priests, whom I certainly never made 
the confidants of my creed. My answer was "say 
nothing of my religion. It is known to my God and 
myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to 
be sought in my life; if that has been honest and 
dutiful to society, the religion which has regulated it 
cannot be a bad one." Affectionately adieu. 


MONTICELLO, Jan. 26, 17. 

DEAR SIR, I have read with great satisfaction the 
eloquent pamphlet you were so kind as to send me, 
and sympathise with every line of it. I was once a 
doubter whether the labor of the Cultivator, aided 
by the creative powers of the earth itself, would not 
produce more value than that of the manufacturer, 
alone and unassisted by the dead subject on which he 
acted? In other words, whether the more we could 
bring into action of the energies of our boundless 
territory, in addition to the labor of our citizens, the 
more would not be our gain? But the inventions of 
latter times, by labor-saving machines, do as much 
now for the manufacturer, as the earth for the cul 
tivator. Experience too has proved that mine was 
but half the question. The other half is whether 
Dollars & cents are to be weighed in the scale against 
real independence? The whole question then is 
solved ; at least so far as respects our wants. 

VOL. XII. 4. 

So The Writings of [1817 

I much fear the effect on our infant establishments, 
of the policy avowed by Mr. Brougham, and quoted 
in the pamphlet. Individual British merchants may 
lose by the late immense importations; but British 
commerce & manufactures, in the mass, will gain by 
beating down the competition of ours, in our own 
markets against this policy, our protecting duties are 
as nothing, our patriotism less. I turn, however, 
with some confidence to a different auxiliary, a revo 
lution in England, now, I believe unavoidable. The 
crisis so long expected, inevitable as death, altho 
uncertain like that in it s date, is at length arrived. 
Their government has acted over again the fable of 
the frog and the ox; and their bloated system has 
burst. They have spent the fee simple of the island 
in their inflated enterprises on the peace and happi 
ness of the rest of mankind. Their debts have con 
sequently accumulated by their follies & frauds, 
until the interest is equal to the aggregate rents of 
all the farms in their country. All these rents must 
go to pay interest, and nothing remains to carry on 
the government. The possession alone of their 
lands is now in the nominal owner; the usufruct in 
the public creditors. Their people too taxed up to 
14. or 15. out of 1 6. hours of daily labor, dying of 
hunger in the streets & fields. The survivors can 
see for themselves the alternative only of following 
them or of abolishing their present government of 
kings, lords, & borough -commons, and establishing 
one in some other form, which will let them live in 
peace with the world. It is not easy to foresee the 
details of such a revolution, but I should not wonder 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 51 

to see the deportation of their king to Indostan, and 
of their Prince Regent to Botany Bay. There, im 
becility might be governed by imbecility, and vice 
by vice; all in suit. Our wish for the good of the 
people of England, as well as for our own peace, 
should be that they may be able to form for them 
selves such a constitution & government as may 
permit them to enjoy the fruits of their own labors 
in peace, instead of squandering them in fomenting 
and paying the wars of the world. But during these 
struggles, their artists are to become soldiers. Their 
manufactures to cease, their commerce sink and our 
intercourse with them be suspended. This interval 
of suspension may revive and fix our manufactures, 
wean us from British aperies, and give us a national 
& independent character of our own. I cannot say 
that all this will be, but that it may be ; and it ought 
to be supplicated from heaven by the prayers of the 
whole world that at length there may be * on earth 
peace, and good will towards men." No country, 
more than your native one, ought to pray & be pre 
pared for this. I wish them success, and to your 
self health and prosperity. 


MONTICELLO, Janry. 29, 1817. 

your last letter, with much affliction, the severe and 
singular attack, your health has lately sustained, but 
its equally singular and sudden restoration confirms 

1 From Collections of the N. Y. Historical Society, p. 267. 

52 The Writings of [1817 

my confidence in the strength of your constitu 
tion of body and mind and my conclusions that 
neither has received hurt, and that you are still ours 
for a long time to come. We have both much to be 
thankful for in the soundness of our physical organi 
zation, and something for self approbation in the 
order and regularity of life by which it has been pre 
served. Your preceding letter had given me no 
cause to doubt the continued strength of your mind, 
and were it not that I am always peculiarly gratified 
by hearing from you, I should regret you had thought 
the incident with Mr. Delaplaine worth an explana 
tion. He wrote me on the subject of my letter to 
you of Janry. 9, 1816, and asked me questions which 
I answer only to one Being. To himself, therefore, 
I replied : Say nothing of my Religion : it is known 
to my God and myself alone; its evidence before the 
world is to be sought in my life; if that has been 
honest and dutiful to society the Religion which has 
regulated it cannot be a bad one." It is a singular 
anxiety which some people have that we should all 
think alike. Would the world be more beautiful 
were all our faces alike? were our tempers, our tal 
ents, our tastes, our forms, our wishes, aversions and 
pursuits cast exactly in the same mould? If no 
varieties existed in the animal, vegetable or mineral 
creation, but all move strictly uniform, catholic & 
orthodox, what a world of physical and moral mono 
tony it would be ! These are the absurdities into 
which those run who usurp the throne of God and 
dictate to Him what He should have done. May 
they with all their metaphysical riddles appear be- 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 53 

fore that tribunal with as clean hands and hearts as 
you and I shall. There, suspended in the scales of 
eternal justice, faith and works will show their worth 
by their weight. God bless you and preserve you 
long in life & health. 


MONTICELLO, February 8, 1817. 

DEAR SIR, Your favor of January 2d did not 
come to my hands until the 5th instant. I concur 
entirely in your leading principles of gradual eman 
cipation, of establishment on the coast of Africa, and 
the patronage of our nation until the emigrants 
shall be able to protect themselves. The subordin 
ate details might be easily arranged. But the bare 
proposition of purchase by the United States gener 
ally, would excite infinite indignation in all the 
States north of Maryland. The sacrifice must fall on 
the States alone which hold them; and the difficult 
question will be how to lessen this so as to reconcile 
our fellow citizens to it. Personally I am ready and 
desirous to make any sacrifice which shall ensure 
their gradual but complete retirement from the State, 
and effectually, at the same time, establish them 
elsewhere in freedom and safety. But I have not 
perceived the growth of this disposition in the rising 
generation, of which I once had sanguine hopes. 
No symptoms inform me that it will take place in 
my day. I leave it, therefore, to time, and not at 
all without hope that the day will come, equally de 
sirable and welcome to us as to them. Perhaps the 

54 The Writings of [1817 

proposition now on the carpet at Washington to pro 
vide an establishment on the coast of Africa for vol 
untary emigrations of people of color, may be the 
corner stone of this future edifice. Praying for its 
completion as early as may most promote the good 
of all, I salute you with great esteem and respect. 


MONTICELLO, Mar. 16. 17. 

DEAR SIR, I learn with real concern that the 
editor of the Theological Repository possesses the 
name of the author of the Syllabus, altho he coyly 
withholds it for the present, he will need but a little 
coaxing to give it out and to let lose upon him the 
genus irretabile vatum, there and here. Be it so. 
I shall receive with folded arms all their hacking & 
hewing. I shall not ask their passport to a country, 
which they claim indeed as theirs but which was 
made, I trust, for moral man, and not for dogmatis 
ing venal jugglers. Should they however, instead of 
abuse, appeal to the tribunal of reason and fact, I 
shall really be glad to see on what point they will 
begin their attack. For it expressly excludes all 
questions of supernatural character or endowment. 
I am in hopes it may find advocates as well as op- 
posers, and produce for us a temperate & full devel 
opment. As to myself I shall be a silent Auditor. 

Mr. Adams s book on Feudal law, mentioned in 
your letter of Feb: 2. I possessed, and it is now in 
the library at Washington which I ceded to Con 
gress. In the same letter you ask if I can explain 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 55 

the phrase il est digne de porter le ruban gris de tin. 
I do not know that I can. gris de lin is the French 
designation of the colour which the English call 
grizzle. The ruban gris de lin may be the badge of 
some association, unknown, I acknowledge to me, 
but to which the author from whom you quote it 
may have some allusion. I shall be happy to learn 
that you pursue your purpose as to the life of the 
great reformer, and more so in seeing it accom 
plished. I return the Repository with thanks for 
the opportunity of seeing it, and I pray you accept 
my friendly and respectful salutations. 1 

1 Jefferson further wrote to Van der Kemp : 

" MONTICELLO, May 1.17. 

" DEAR SIR, I thank you for your letter of Mar. 307 My mind is 
entirely relieved by your assurance that my name did not cross the 
Atlantic in connection with the Syllabus. The suggestion then of 
the Editor of the Theological Repository was like those of our news 
paper editors who pretend they know every thing, but in discretion 
will not tell us, while we see that they give us all they know and a 
great deal more. I am now at the age of quietism, and wish not to 
be kicked by the asses of hierophantism. I hope you will find time 
to take up this subject. There are some new publications in Ger 
many which would greatly aid it, to wit, 

" Augusti s translation & commentary on the 7. Catholic epistles, in 
which he has thrown great light on the opinions of the primitive 
Christians & on the innovations of St. Paul, printed at Lemgo 1808. 
2. vols. 8vo. 

" Palmer s Paul and Gamaliel. Giessen. 1806. 

" Munter s history of dogmas. Gottingen. 1806. shewing the for 
mation of the dogmatical system of Christianity. 

" Augusti s Manual of the history of Christian dogmas. Leipsic 1805. 

" Marteinacke s Manual of Ecclesiastical history. Erlangen 1806. 
developing the simple ideas of the first Christians, and the causes & 
progress of the subsequent changes. 

" I have not written for these books, because I suppose they are in 
German which I do not read; but I expect they are profoundly 
learned on their subjects. 

" In answer to your inquiries respecting Rienzi, the best account I 

5 6 The Writings of [1817 


MONTICELLO, May 2, 17. 

DEAR SIR, I am indebted to you for your favor 
of Apr. 22, and for the copy of the Agricultural 
magazine it covered, which is indeed a very useful 
work. While I was an amateur in Agricultural sci 
ence (for practical knolege my course of life never 
permitted me) I was very partial to the drilled hus 
bandry of lull, and thought still better of it when 
reformed by Young to 12 rows. But I had not time 
to try it while young, and now grown old I have not 
the requisite activity either of body or mind. 

With respect to field culture of vegetables for 
cattle,. instead of the carrot and potato recommended 
by yourself and the magazine, & the best of others, 
we find the Jerusalem artichoke best for winter, & 
the Succory for Summer use. This last was brought 
over from France to England by Arthur Young, as 
you will see in his travels thro France, & some of 
the seed sent by him to Genl. Washington, who 
spared me a part of it. It is as productive as the 
Lucerne, without its laborious culture, & indeed 

have met with of this poor counterfeit of the Gracchi, who seems to 
have had enthusiasm & eloquence, without either wisdom or firmness, 
is the 5th & 6th vols. of Sigismondi. He quotes for his authority 
chiefly the Frammenti de Storia Romana d anonimo contemporaneo. 
Of the monk Borselaro I know nothing, and my books are all gone to 
where they will be more useful, & my memory waning under the hand 
of time. I think Bekker might have demanded a truce from his 
antagonists on the question of a Hall, by desiring them first to fix 
it s geography. But wherever it be, it is certainly the best patrimony 
of the church, and procures them in exchange the solid acres of this 
world. I salute you with entire esteem & respect." 

1 From a copy courteously furnished by Mr. Chester A. Stoddard, 
of Boston, Mass. 

1817} Thomas Jefferson 57 

without any culture except the keeping it clean the 
first year. The Jerusalem artichoke far exceeds the 
potato in produce, and remains in the ground thro 
the winter to be dug as wanted. A method of 
ploughing over hill sides horizontally, introduced 
into the most hilly part of our country by Colo. T. M. 
Randolph, my son in law, may be worth mentioning 
to you. He has practised it a dozen or 15 years, and 
it s advantages were so immediately observed that 
it has already become very general, and has entirely 
changed and renovated the face of our country. 
Every rain, before that, while it gave a temporary 
refreshment, did permanent evil by carrying off our 
soil: and fields were no sooner cleared than wasted. 
At present we may say that we lose none of our soil, 
the rain not absorbed in the moment of it s fall being 
retained in the hollows between the beds until it can 
be absorbed. Our practice is when we first enter on 
this process, with a rafter level of 10 f. span, to lay 
off guide lines conducted horizontally around the 
hill or valley from one end to the other of the field, 
and about 30 yards apart. The steps of the level on 
the ground are marked by a stroke of a hoe, and 
immediately followed by a plough to preserve the 
trace. A man or a lad, with the level, and two small 
boys, the one with sticks, the other with the hoe, 
will do an acre of this in an hour, and when once 
done it is forever done. We generally level a field 
the year it is put into Indian corn laying it into beds 
of 6 ft. wide, with a large water furrow between 
the beds, until all the fields have been once leveled. 
The intermediate furrows are run by the eye of the 

58 The Writings of [1817 

ploughman governed by these guide lines, & occa 
sion gores which are thrown into short beds. As in 
ploughing very steep hill sides horizontally the com 
mon ploughman can scarcely throw the furrow up 
hill, Colo. Randolph has contrived a very simple 
alteration of the share, which throws the furrow 
down hill both going and coming. It is as if two 
shares were welded together at their straight side, 
and at a right angle with each other. This turns on 
it s bar as on a pivot, so as to lay either share hori 
zontal, when the other becoming verticle acts as a 
mould board. This is done by the ploughman in an 
instant by a single motion of the hand, at the end 
of every furrow. I enclose a bit of paper cut into 
the form of the double share, which being opened at 
the fold to a right angle, will give an idea of it s gen 
eral principle. Horizontal and deep ploughing, with 
the use of plaister and clover, which are but begin 
ning to be used here will, as we believe, restore this 
part of our country to it s original fertility, which 
was exceeded by no upland in the state. Believing 
that some of these things might be acceptable to you 
I have hazarded them as testimonials of my great 
esteem & respect. 


MONTICELLO [May ? 1817.] 

DEAR SIR,- * * * 

I suppose that your friends of Boston furnish you 
with our domestic news. Improvement is now the 
general word with us. Canals, roads, education oc 
cupy principal attention. A bill which had passed 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 59 

both houses of Congress for beginning these works, 
was negatived by the President, on constitutional, 
and I believe, sound grounds; that instrument not 
having placed this among the enumerated objects to 
which they are authorized to apply the public con 
tributions. He recommended an application to the 
states for an extension of their powers to this object, 
which will I believe be unanimously conceded, & will 
be a better way of obtaining the end, than by strained 
constructions, which would loosen all the bands of 
the constitution. In the mean time the states se 
parately are going on with this work. New York is 
undertaking the most gigantic enterprise of uniting 
the waters of L. Erie and the Hudson ; Jersey those 
of the Delaware & Raritan. This state proposes 
several such works; but most particularly has ap 
plied itself to establishments for education, by tak 
ing up the plan I proposed to them 40. years ago, 
which you will see explained in the Notes on Virginia. 
They have provided for this special object an ample 
fund, and a growing one. They propose an elementary 
school in every ward or township, for reading, writing 
and common arithmetic ; a college in every district, 
suppose of 80. or 100. miles square, for laying the foun 
dations of the sciences in general, to wit, languages, 
geography & the higher branches of Arithmetic ; and 
a single University embracing every science deemed 
useful in the present state of the world. This last 
may very possibly be placed near Charlottes ville, 
which you know is under view from Monticello. 

Amid these enlarged measures, the papers tell us 
of one by the legislature of New York, so much in 

60 The Writings of [1817 

the opposite direction that it would puzzle us to say 
in what, the darkest age of the history of bigotry and 
barbarism, we should find an apt place for it. It is 
said they have declared by law that all those who 
hereafter shall join in communion with the religious 
sect of Shaking quakers, shall be deemed civilly dead, 
their marriage vows dissolved, and all their children 
and property taken from them; without any provi 
sion for rehabilitation in case of resipiscence. To 
prove that this departure from the spirit of our in 
stitutions is local and I hope merely momentary, 
Pennsylvania about the same time, rejected a propo 
sition to make the belief in a god a necessary quali 
fication for office, altho I presume there was not an 
Atheist in their body : and I dare say you have heard 
that when the law for freedom of religion was before 
the Virginia legislature in which the phrase "the au 
thor of our holy religion " happened to be they reject 
ed a proposition to prefix to it the name of " Jesus 
Christ," altho certainly a great majority of them con 
sidered him as such. Yet they would not undertake 
to say that for every one. The New York law is so 
recent that nothing has yet been said about it, & I do 
imagine if it has been past, their next legislature will 
repeal it, and make an amende honorable to the gen 
eral spirit of their confederates. Nothing having yet 
appeared but the naked act, without signature, or a 
word of the history of it s passage, there is room to 
hope it has been merely an abortive attempt. 

Of the Volcanic state of Europe I know little, and 
will say nothing, and add to the length of this, for 
myself & the individuals of my family, who remem- 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 61 

ber you with particular friendship, the assurances of 
the highest esteem and respect. 

June 6. 1817. P. S. the preceding written some 
time ago, is now only despatched. 


MONTICELLO, May 14, 1817. 

Although, dear Sir, much retired from the world, 
and meddling little in its concerns, yet I think it al 
most a religious duty to salute at times my old 
friends, were it only to say and to know that "all s 
well." Our hobby has been politics; but all here is 
so quiet, and with you so desperate, that little mat 
ter is furnished us for active attention. With you 
too, it has long been forbidden ground, and there 
fore imprudent for a foreign friend to tread, in writ 
ing to you. But although our speculations might be 
intrusive, our prayers cannot but be acceptable, and 
mine are sincerely offered for the well-being of 
France. What government she can bear, depends 
not on the state of science, however exalted, in a 
select band of enlightened men, but on the condition 
of the general mind. That, I am sure, is advanced 
and will advance; and the last change of govern 
ment was fortunate, inasmuch as the new will be 
less obstructive to the effects of that advancement. 
For I consider your foreign military oppressions as 
an ephemeral obstacle only. 

Here all is quiet. The British war has left us 
in debt; but that is a cheap price for the good it 
has done us. The establishment of the necessary 

62 The Writings of [1817 

manufactures among ourselves, the proof that our 
government is solid, can stand the shock of war, 
and is superior even to civil schism, are precious 
facts for us ; and of these the strongest proofs were 
furnished, when, with four eastern States tied to us, 
as dead to living bodies, all doubt was removed as to 
the achievements of the war, had it continued. But 
its best effect has been the complete suppression of 
party. The federalists who were truly American, 
and their great mass was so, have separated from 
their brethren who were mere Anglomen, and are 
received with cordiality into the republican ranks. 
Even Connecticut, as a State, and the last one ex 
pected to yield its steady habits (which were essen 
tially bigoted in politics as well as religion), has 
chosen a republican governor, and republican legis 
lature. Massachusetts indeed still lags; because 
most deeply involved in the parricide crimes and 
treasons of the war. But her gangrene is contract 
ing, the sound flesh advancing on it, and all there 
will be well. I mentioned Connecticut as the most 
hopeless of our States. Little Delaware had escaped 
my attention. That is essentially a Quaker State, 
the fragment of a religious sect which, there, in the 
other States, in England, are a homogeneous mass, 
acting with one mind, and that directed by the 
mother society in England. Dispersed, as the Jews, 
they still form, as those do, one nation, foreign to 
the land they live in. They are Protestant Jesuits, 
implicitly devoted to the will of their superior, and 
forgetting all duties to their country in the execution 
of the policy of their order. When war is proposed 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 63 

with England, they have religious scruples; but 
when with France, these are laid by, and they be 
come clamorous for it. They are, however, silent, 
passive, and give no other trouble than of whipping 
them along. Nor is the election of Monroe an in 
efficient circumstance in our felicities. Four and 
twenty years, which he will accomplish, of adminis 
tration in republican forms and principles, will so 
consecrate them in the eyes of the people as to secure 
them against the danger of change. The evanition 
of party dissensions has harmonized intercourse, and 
sweetened society beyond imagination. The war 
then has done us all this good, and the further one 
of assuring the world, that although attached to 
peace from a sense of its blessings, we will meet war 
when it is made necessary. 

I wish I could give better hopes of our southern 
brethren. The achievement of their independence 
of Spain is no longer a question. But it is a very 
serious one, what will then become of them? Ignor 
ance and bigotry, like other insanities, are incapable 
of self-government. They will fall under military 
despotism, and become the murderous tools of the 
ambition of their respective Bonapartes; and 
whether this will be for their greater happiness, the 
rule of one only has taught you to judge. No one, 
I hope, can doubt my wish to see them and all man 
kind exercising self-government, and capable of ex 
ercising it. But the question is not what we wish, 
but what is practicable ? As their sincere friend and 
brother then, I do believe the best thing for them, 
would be for themselves to come to an accord with 

64 The Writings of [1817 

Spain, under the guarantee of France, Russia, Hol 
land, and the United States, allowing to Spain a 
nominal supremacy, with authority only to keep the 
peace among them, leaving them otherwise all the 
powers of self-government, until their experience in 
them, their emancipation from their priests, and ad 
vancement in information, shall prepare them for 
complete independence. I exclude England from 
this confederacy, because her selfish principles ren 
der her incapable of honorable patronage or disin 
terested co-operation; unless, indeed, what seems 
now probable, a revolution should restore to her an 
honest government, one which will permit the world 
to live in peace. Portugal, grasping at an extension 
of her dominion in the south, has lost her great 
northern province of Pernambuco, and I shall not 
wonder if Brazil should revolt in mass, and send their 
royal family back to Portugal. Brazil is more popu 
lous, more wealthy, more energetic, and as wise as 
Portugal. I have been insensibly led, my dear 
friend, while writing to you, to indulge in that line of 
sentiment in which we have been always associated, 
forgetting that these are matters not belonging to 
my time. Not so with you, who have still many 
years to be a spectator of these events. That these 
years may indeed be many and happy, is the sincere 
prayer of your affectionate friend. 


MONTICELLO June 10. 17. 

DEAR SIR, I am detaining from the Philosophical 
society their copy of Colo. Byrd s journal, until I 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 65 

can learn whether I may be permitted to send with 
it also the supplementary one of which I obtained 
the loan thro your favor. Will you be so good as 
to favor me with the name of the person to whom it 
belongs, that I may sollicit the permission without 
troubling you? 

Does your new bank propose to do any business 
with country people? I have been in the habit of 
asking small accommodations occasionally from the 
Virginia bank where I had for some time past a note 
of 2000 D. The disastrous corn -crop of the last year 
& the excessive price of that article obliged me to 
apply to them lately for an additional 2000 D. to be 
indulged until the present crop should furnish new 
resources. They readily furnished the sum, but said 
the rules established for some time to come would 
forbid them to renew it at the expiration of the 60. 
days. Mr. Gibson, my correspondent & endorser ad 
vised me to enquire in time whether I could be 
enabled by the US. bank to take up the note when 
due, under a prospect of it s renewal for some months. 
Will you be so good as to inform me on this subject? 
Your friends in our vicinity are all well. I salute 
you with friendship and respect. 


MONTICELLO, June 12, 1817. 

SIR, Your favor of May 2oth has been received 
some time since, but the increasing inertness of age 
renders me slow in obeying the calls of the writing- 
table, and less equal than I have been to its labors. 

VOL. XII. 5. 

66 The Writings of [1817 

My opinion on the right of Expatriation has been, 
so long ago as the year 1776, consigned to record in 
the act of the Virginia code, drawn by myself, recog 
nizing the right expressly, and prescribing the mode 
of exercising it. The evidence of this natural right, 
like that of our right to life, liberty, the use of our 
faculties, the pursuit of happiness, is not left to the 
feeble and sophistical investigations of reason, but is 
impressed on the sense of every man. We do not 
claim these under the charters of kings or legislators, 
but under the King of kings. If he has made it a 
law in the nature of man to pursue his own happi 
ness, he has left him free in the choice of place as well 
as mode ; and we may safely call on the whole body 
of English jurists to produce the map on which 
Nature has traced, for each individual, the geo 
graphical line which she forbids him to cross in pur 
suit of happiness. It certainly does not exist in his 
mind. Where, then, is it? I believe, too, I might 
safely affirm, that there is not another nation, civil 
ized or savage, which has ever denied this natural 
right. I doubt if there is another which refuses its 
exercise. I know it is allowed in some of the most 
respectable countries of continental Europe, nor have 
I ever heard of one in which it was not. How it is 
among our savage neighbors, who have no law but 
that of Nature, we all know. 

Though long estranged from legal reading and 
reasoning, and little familiar with the decisions of 
particular judges, I have considered that respecting 
the obligation of the common law in this country as 
a very plain one, and merely a question of document. 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 67 

If we are under that law, the document which made 
us so can surely be produced ; and as far as this can 
be produced, so far we are subject to it, and farther 
we are not. Most of the States did, I believe, at an 
early period of their legislation, adopt the English 
law, common and statute, more or less in a body, as 
far as localities admitted of their application. In 
these States, then, the common law, so far as adopted 
is the lex-loci. Then comes the law of Congress, de 
claring that what is law in any State, shall be the 
rule of decision in their courts, as to matters arising 
within that State, except when controlled by their 
own statutes. But this law of Congress has been 
considered as extending to civil cases only ; and that 
no such provision has been made for criminal ones. 
A similar provision, then, for criminal offences, 
would, in like manner, be an adoption of more or 
less of the common law, as part of the lex-loci, where 
the offence is committed ; and would cover the whole 
field of legislation for the general government. I 
have turned to the passage you refer to in Judge 
Cooper s Justinian, and should suppose the general 
expressions there used would admit of modifications 
conformable to this doctrine. It would alarm me 
indeed, in any case, to find myself entertaining an 
opinion different from that of a judgment so accur 
ately organized as his. But I am quite persuaded 
that, whenever Judge Cooper shall be led to consider 
that question simply and nakedly, it is so much 
within his course of thinking, as liberal as logical, 
that, rejecting all blind and undefined obligation, he 
will hold to the positive and explicit precepts of the 

68 The Writings of [1817 

law alone. Accept these hasty sentiments on the 
subjects you propose, as hazarded in proof of my 
great esteem and respect. 


MONTICELLO, June 13, 1817. 

DEAR SIR, The receipt of your Distributio Geo- 
graphica Plantar urn, with the duty of thanking you 
for a work which sheds so much new and valuable 
light on botanical science, excites the desire, also, of 
presenting myself to your recollection, and of ex 
pressing to you those sentiments of high admiration 
and esteem, which, although long silent, have never 
slept. The physical information you have given us 
of a country hitherto so shamefully unknown, has 
come exactly in time to guide our understandings in 
the great political revolution now bringing it into 
prominence on the stage of the world. The issue of 
its struggles, as they respect Spain, is no longer 
matter of doubt. As it respects their own liberty, 
peace and happiness, we cannot be quite so certain. 
Whether the blinds of bigotry, the shackles of the 
priesthood, and the fascinating glare of rank and 
wealth, give fair play to the common sense of the 
mass of their people, so far as to qualify them for 
self-government, is what we do not know. Perhaps 
our wishes may be stronger than our hopes. The 
first principle of republicanism is, that the lex-majoris 
partis is the fundamental law of every society of in 
dividuals of equal rights ; to consider the will of the 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 69 

society enounced by the majority of a single vote, 
as sacred as if unanimous, is the first of all lessons in 
importance, yet the last which is thoroughly learnt. 
This law once disregarded, no other remains but 
that of force, which ends necessarily in military des 
potism. This has been the history of the French 
revolution, and I wish the understanding of our 
Southern brethren may be sufficiently enlarged and 
firm to see that their fate depends on its sacred 

In our America we are turning to public improve 
ments. Schools, roads, and canals, are everywhere 
either in operation or contemplation. The most 
gigantic undertaking yet proposed, is that of New 
York, for drawing the waters of Lake Erie into the 
Hudson. The distance is 353 miles, and the height 
to be surmounted 66 1 feet. The expense will be 
great, but its effect incalculably powerful in favor of 
the Atlantic States. Internal navigation by steam 
boats is rapidly spreading through all our States, 
and that by sails and oars will ere long be looked 
back to as among the curiosities of antiquity. We 
count much, too, on its efficacy for harbor defence; 
and it will soon be tried for navigation by sea. We 
consider the employment of the contributions which 
our citizens can spare, after feeding, and clothing, 
and lodging themselves comfortably, as more useful, 
more moral, and even more splendid, than that pre 
ferred by Europe, of destroying human life, labor and 

I write this letter without knowing where it will 
find you. But wherever that may be, I am sure it 

70 The Writings of [1817 

will find you engaged in something instructive for 
man. If at Paris, you are of course in habits of so 
ciety with Mr. Gallatin, our worthy, our able, and 
excellent minister, who will give you, from time to 
time, the details of the progress of a country in whose 
prosperity you are so good as to feel an interest, and 
in which your name is revered among those of the 
great worthies of the world. God bless you, and 
preserve you long to enjoy the gratitude of your 
fellow men, and to be blessed with honors, health 
and happiness. 


MONTICELLO, June 16, 1817. 

DEAR SIR, The importance that the enclosed 
letters should safely reach their destination, impels 
me to avail myself of the protection of your cover. 
This is an inconvenience to which your situation 
exposes you, while it adds to the opportunities of 
exercising yourself in works of charity. 

According to the opinion I hazarded to you a little 
before your departure, we have had almost an entire 
change in the body of Congress. The unpopularity 
of the compensation law was completed, by the man 
ner of repealing it as to all the world except them 
selves. In some States, it is said, every member is 
changed; in all, many. What opposition there was 
to the original law, was chiefly from southern 
members. Yet many of those have been left out, 
because they received the advanced wages. I 
have never known so unanimous a sentiment of 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 71 

disapprobation; and what is remarkable is, that it 
was spontaneous. The newspapers were almost en 
tirely silent, and the people not only unled by their 
leaders, but in opposition to them. I confess I was 
highly pleased with this proof of the innate good 
sense, the vigilance, and the determination of the 
people to act for themselves. 

Among the laws of the late Congress, some were of 
note; a navigation act, particularly, applicable to 
those nations only who have navigation acts ; pinch 
ing one of them especially, not only in the general 
way, but in the intercourse with her foreign posses 
sions. This part may re-act on us, and it remains 
for trial which may bear longest. A law respecting 
our conduct as a neutral between Spain and her con 
tending colonies, was passed by a majority of one 
only, I believe, and against the very general senti 
ment of our country. It is thought to strain our 
complaisance to Spain beyond her right or merit, and 
almost against the right of the party, and certainly 
against the claims they have to our good wishes and 
neighborly relations. That we should wish to see 
the people of other countries free, is as natural, and 
at least as justifiable, as that one King should wish 
to see the Kings of other countries maintained in 
their despotism. Right to both parties, innocent 
favor to the juster cause, is our proper sentiment. 

You will have learned that an act for internal im 
provement, after passing both Houses, was negatived 
by the President. The act was founded, avowedly, 
on the principle that the phrase in the constitution 
which authorizes Congress "to lay taxes, to pay the 

72 The Writings of [1817 

debts and provide for the general welfare," was an 
extension of the powers specifically enumerated to 
whatever would promote the general welfare; and 
this, you know, was the federal doctrine. Whereas, 
our tenet ever was, and, indeed, it is almost the only 
landmark which now divides the federalists from the 
republicans, that Congress had not unlimited powers 
to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained 
to those specifically enumerated ; and that, as it was 
never meant they should provide for that welfare but 
by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could 
not have been meant they should raise money for 
purposes which the enumeration did not place under 
their action; consequently, that the specification of 
powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they 
may raise money. I think the passage and rejection 
of this bill a fortunate incident. Every State will cer 
tainly concede the power ; and this will be a national 
confirmation of the grounds of appeal to them, and 
will settle forever the meaning of this phrase, which, 
by a mere grammatical quibble, has countenanced the 
General Government in a claim of universal power. 
For in the phrase, "to lay taxes, to pay the debts and 
provide for the general welfare," it is a mere question 
of syntax, whether the two last infinitives are gov 
erned by the first or are distinct and co-ordinate pow 
ers; a question unequivocally decided by the exact 
definition of powers immediately following. It is for 
tunate for another reason, as the States, in conceding 
the power, will modify it, either by requiring the fed 
eral ratio of expense in each State, or otherwise, so 
as to secure us against its partial exercise. Without 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 73 

this caution, intrigue, negotiation, and the barter of 
votes might become as habitual in Congress, as they 
are in those legislatures which have the appointment 
of officers, and which, with us, is called "logging," 
the term of the farmers for their exchanges of aid in 
rolling together the logs of their newly-cleared 
grounds. Three of our papers have presented us the 
copy of an act of the legislature of New York, which, 
if it has really passed, will carry us back to the times 
of the darkest bigotry and barbarism, to find a paral 
lel. Its purport is, that all those who shall hereafter 
join in communion with the religious sect of Shaking 
Quakers, shall be deemed civilly dead, their mar 
riages dissolved, and all their children and property 
taken out of their hands. This act being published 
nakedly in the papers, without the usual signatures, 
or any history of the circumstances of its passage, I 
am not without a hope it may have been a mere 
abortive attempt. It contrasts singularly with a 
cotemporary vote of the Pennsylvania legislature, 
who, on a proposition to make the belief in God 
a necessary qualification for office, rejected it by a 
great majority, although assuredly there was not a 
single atheist in their body. And you remember to 
have heard, that when the act for religious freedom 
was before the Virginia Assembly, a motion to insert 
the name of Jesus Christ before the phrase, "the 
author of our holy religion," which stood in the bill, 
was rejected, although that was the creed of a great 
majority of them. 

I have been charmed to see that a Presidential 
election now produces scarcely any agitation. On 

74 The Writings of [1817 

Mr. Madison s election there was little, on Monroe s 
all but none. In Mr. Adams time and mine, parties 
were so nearly balanced as to make the struggle fear 
ful for our peace. But since the decided ascendency 
of the republican body, federalism has looked on 
with silent but unresisting anguish. In the middle, 
southern and western States, it is as low as it ever 
can be ; for nature has made some men monarchists 
and tories by their constitution, and some, of course, 
there always will be. 


POPLAR FOREST, July 12, 17. 

DEAR SIR, This is the only fair day since you 
were here, & being to depart to-morrow, I must em 
ploy it otherwise than in paying the visit I had in 
tended you. I shall be back however within 3 weeks 
and have time then to render the double. 

In the mean while as your Paul is desirous of lay 
ing up useful things in the storehouse of his mind, I 
send him a little bundle of canons of conduct which 
may merit a shelf after the one occupied by the 
Decalogue of first authority. If he will get them by 
heart, occasions will not be wanting for their useful 
application. You can furnish him also with another 
decad, and regulating his life by this code of practice 
it may bring pleasure and profit to himself, and 
praise from others. Wishing pleasure, profit, and 
praise to him, to you and yours, I salute you with 
constant friendship and respect. 1 

1 Th. Jefferson to Paul Clay. 

"i. Never spend your money before you have it. 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 75 




Your letter of the 6th inst. is delivered to me at 
this place with an extract from the Franklin Republi 
can of July 29. in these words. "Extract of a letter 
from Virginia. July 13. 1817. The day before yes 
terday I was at Monticello, & had the gratification 
to hear the chief of the elevated group there (Mr. 
Jefferson) express his anxious wish for the success of 
the democratic republican gubernatorial candidate in 
Pensylvania As he says he has no opinion of tool or 
turnabout politicians just to serve their own aggran 
disement." Now I declare to you, Gentlemen, on my 
honor that I never expressed a sentiment, or uttered 
a syllable to any mortal living on the subject of the 
election referred to in this extract. It is one into 
which I have never permitted even my wishes to 
enter, entertaining as I do a high respect for both 
the characters in competition, and not doubting that 
the state of Pensylvania will be happier under the 

"2. Never buy what you don t want, because it is cheap: it will be 
dear to you. 

"3. Pride costs more than hunger, thirst and cold. 

14 4. Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day. 

" 5. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself. 

11 6. Think as you please and let others do so: you will then have no 

"7. How much pain have cost us the things which have never 

"8. Take things always by their smooth handle. 

"9. When angry count 10. before you speak. If very angry 100. 

" 10. When at table, remember that we never repent of having eaten 
or drunk too little. 

Hcec animo concipe dicta tuo et vale." 

76 The Writings of [1817 

government of either. If any further proof of the 
falsehood of this letter writer were required, it would 
be found in the fact that on the nth of July, when 
he pretends to have seen me at Monticello, & to have 
been entrusted by me with expressions so highly 
condemnable, I was at this place 90 miles South 
West of that, attending to my harvest here. I had 
left Monticello on the 2gth of June, & did not return 
to it until the i$th of July. The facts of my ab 
sence from the one place, & presence at the other, at 
that date, are well known to many inhabitants of 
the town of Charlottes ville near the one, & of Lynch - 
burg near the other place. 

I am duly sensible of the sentiments of respect 
with which you are pleased to honor me in your let 
ter, as I am also of those concerning myself in the 
resolutions of the respectable Committee of the New 
market ward, who have been led into error by this 
very false letter writer. These, I trust, will not be 
lessened on either side by my assurance that, con 
sidering this as a family question I do not allow my 
self to take any part in it, and the less as the issue 
either way cannot be unfavorable to republican gov 
ernment. I tender to both parties sincere senti 
ments of esteem & respect. 



DEAR SIR, Your favor of Aug. 14. was delivered 
to me as I was setting out for the distant possession 

1817] Thomas Jefferson 77 

from which I now write, & to which I pay frequent 
& long visits. On my arrival here I make it my 
first duty to write the letter you request to Mr. 
Erving, and to inclose it in this under cover to your 
father that you may get it in time. My letters are 
always letters of thanks because you are always fur 
nishing occasion for them. I am very glad you have 
been so kind as to make the alteration you mention 
in the Herodotus & Livy I had asked from the 
Messrs. Desbures. I have not yet heard from them, 
but daily expect to do so, and to learn the arrival 
of my books. I shall probably send them another 
catalogue early in spring; every supply from them 
furnishing additional materials for my happiness. 

I had before heard of the military ingredients which 
Bonaparte had infused into all the schools of France, 
but have never so well understood them as from 
your letter. The penance he is now doing for all his 
atrocities must be soothing to every virtuous heart. 
It proves that we have a god in heaven. That he is 
just, and not careless of what passes in this world. 
And we cannot but wish to this inhuman wretch, a 
long, long life, that time as well as intensity may fill 
up his sufferings to the measure of his enormities. 
But indeed what sufferings can atone for his crimes 
against the liberties & happiness of the human race ; 
for the miseries he has already inflicted on his own 
generation, & on those yet to come, on whom he has 
rivetted the chains of despotism ! 

I am now entirely absorbed in endeavours to 
effect the establishment of a general system of edu 
cation in my native state, on the triple basis, i, of 

78 The Writings of [1817 

elementary schools which shall give to the children 
of every citizen gratis, competent instruction in read 
ing, writing, common arithmetic, and general geo 
graphy. 2. Collegiate institutions for antient & 
modern languages, for higher instruction in arithme 
tic, geography & history, placing for these purposes a 
college within a day s ride of every inhabitant of the 
state, and adding a provision for the full education 
at the public expence of select subjects from among 
the children of the poor, who shall have exhibited at 
the elementary schools the most prominent indica 
tions of aptness of judgment & correct disposition. 
3. An University in which all the branches of science 
deemed useful at this day, shall be taught in their 
highest degree. This would probably require ten or 
twelve professors, for most of whom we shall be 
obliged to apply to Europe, and most likely to Edin- 
burg, because of the greater advantage the students 
will receive from communications made in their 
native language. This last establishment will prob 
ably be within a mile of Charlottesville, and four 
from Monticello, if the system should be adopted at 
all by our legislature who meet within a week from 
this time. My hopes however are kept in check by 
the ordinary character of our state legislatures, the 
members of which do not generally possess informa 
tion enough to perceive the important truths, that 
knolege is power, that knolege is safety, and that 
knolege is happiness. 

In the meantime, and in case of failure of the 
broader plan, we are establishing a college of general 
science, at the same situation near Charlottesville, 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 79 

the scale of which, of necessity will be much more 
moderate, as resting on private donations only. 
These amount at present to about 75,000 Dollars. 
The buildings are begun, and by midsummer we hope 
to have two or three professorships in operation. 
Would to god we could have two or three duplicates 
of yourself, the original being above our means and 
hopes. If then we fail in doing all the good we wish, 
we will do at least all we can. This is the law of duty 
in every society of free agents, where every one has 
equal right to judge for himself. God bless you, and 
give to the means of benefiting mankind which you 
will bring home with you, all the success your high 
qualifications ought to insure. 


MONTICELLO, January 5, 1818. 

I have first to thank you, dear Sir, for the copy of 
your late work which you have been so kind as to 
send me, and then to render you double congratula 
tions, first, on the general applause it has so justly 
received, and next on the public testimony of esteem 
for its author, manifested by your late call to the 
executive councils of the nation. All this I do heart 
ily, and then proceed to a case of business on which 
you will have to advise the government on the 
threshold of your office. You have seen the death of 
General Kosciusko announced in the papers in such 
a way as not to be doubted. He had in the funds of 
the United States a very considerable sum of money, 

8o The Writings of 

on the interest of which he depended for subsistence. 
On his leaving the United States, in 1798, he placed 
it under my direction by a power of attorney, which 
I executed entirely through Mr. Barnes, who regu 
larly remitted his interest. But he left also in my 
hands an autograph will, disposing of his funds in a 
particular course of charity, and making me his ex 
ecutor. The question the government will ask of 
you, and which I therefore ask, is in what court must 
this will be proved, and my qualification as executor 
be received, to justify the United States in placing 
these funds under the trust? This is to be executed 
wholly in this State, and will occupy so long a course 
of time beyond what I can expect to live, that I 
think to propose to place it under the Court of Chan 
cery. The place of probate generally follows the 
residence of the testator. That was in a foreign 
country in the present case. Sometimes the bona 
notabilia. The evidences or representations of these 
(the certificates) are in my hands. The things re 
presented (the money) in those of the United States. 
But where are the United States? Everywhere, I 
suppose, where they have government or property 
liable to the demand on payment. That is to say, 
in every State of the Union, in this, for example, as 
well as any other, strengthened by the circumstances 
of the deposit of the will, the residence of the execu 
tor, and the place where the trust is to be executed. 
In no instance, I believe, does the mere habitation of 
the debtor draw to it the place of probate, and if it 
did, the United States are omnipresent by their func 
tionaries, as well as property in every State of the 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 81 

Union. I am led by these considerations to suppose 
our district or general court competent to the object; 
but you know best, and by your advice, sanctioned 
by the Secretary of the Treasury, I shall act. I 
write to the Secretary on this subject. If our dis 
trict court will do, I can attend it personally; if 
the general court only be competent, I am in hopes 
it will find means of dispensing with my personal 
attendance. I salute you with affectionate esteem 
and respect. 


MONTICELLO, Jan. 14, 1818. 

DEAR SIR, When on the 6th inst. I was answer 
ing yours of Dec. 29, I was so overwhelmed with 
letters to be answered, that I could not take time to 
notice the objection stated, "that it was apprehended 
that neither the people, nor their representatives, 
would agree to the plan of assessment on the wards 
for the expenses of the ward schools." I suppose 
that this is meant the "pecuniary expense of wages 
to the tutor"; for, as to what the people are to do, 
or to contribute in kind, every one who knows the 
situation of our people in the country, knows it will 
not be felt. The building the long houses will em 
ploy the laborers of the ward three or four days in 
every 20 years. The contributions for subsistence, 
if averaged on the families, would be 8 or 9 Ibs. of 
pork, and a half a bushel of corn for a family 
of middling circumstances not more than 2 days 

1 From Niles s Register, vol. xiv., p. 174. 

VOL. XII 6. 

82 The Writings of [1818 

subsistence of the family and its stock and less in 
proportion as it could spare less. There is not a 
family in the country so poor as to feel this contri 
bution. It must then be the assessment of the 
pecuniary contribution which is thought so formid 
able an addition to the property tax we now pay to 
the state that "neither the people, nor their repre 
sentatives would agree to/ Now, let us look this 
objection in the face, and bring it to the unerring 
test of figures ; premising that this pecuniary tax 
is to be of 150 dollars on a ward. 

Not possessing the documents which would give 
me the numbers to be quoted, correctly to a unit, I 
shall use round numbers, so near the truth, that with 
the further advantage of facilitating our calculations 
as we go a long, they will make no sensible error in 
the result. I will proceed therefore on the following 
postulates, and on the ground that there are in the 
whole state 100 counties and cities. 

In the whole In every county on 
state. an average. 

The free white inhabitants 

of all ages and sexes, at 

the last census were 600,000 6,000 

The number of militia were 

somewhere about 80,000 800 

The number of captain s 

companies, of 67 each 

would be about 1,200 12 

Free white inhabitants for 

every militia company, 

600,0001200 500 oo 

The tax on property paid to 

the state is nearly 500,000 5,000 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 83 

Let us then proceed on these data, to compare the 
expense of the proposed and of the existing system 
of primary schools. I have always supposed that 
the wards should be laid off as to comprehend the 
number of inhabitants necessary to furnish a cap 
tains company of militia. This is before stated at 
500 persons of all ages and sexes. From the tables 
of mortality (Buff on s) we find that where there are 
500 persons of all ages and sexes, there will always 
be 14 in their loth year, 13 and a fraction in their 
nth, and 13 in their i2th year; so that the children 
of these three years (which are those that ought to 
be devoted to the elementary schools) will be a con 
stant number of 40; about enough to occupy one 
teacher constantly. His wages of $150, partitioned 
on these 40, make their teaching cost $3^ a-piece, 
annually. If we reckon as many heads of families 
in a ward as there are militia (as I think we may, 
the unmarried militia men balancing, in numbers, 
the married and unmarried exempts) $150 on 67 
heads of families (if levied equally) would be $2.24 
on each. At the same time the property tax on the 
ward being $5000-1-12, or $416, and that again sub 
divided on 67 heads of families (if it were levied 
equally) would be $6.20 on a family of middling cir 
cumstances, the tax which it now pays to the state. 
So that to $6.20, the present state tax, the school 
tax, would add $2.24, which is about 36 cents to the 
dollar, or one third to the present property tax : and 
to the whole state would be $150 X 1200 wards 
equal to $180,000 of tax added to the present 

84 The Writings of [i 8 1 8 

Now let us see what the present primary schools 
cost us, on the supposition that all the children of 10, 
ii and 12 years old are, as they ought to be, at 
school : and if they are not, so much the worse is the 
system: for they will be untaught, and their igno 
rance and vices will, in future life cost us much 
dearer in their consequences, than it would have done, 
in their correction, by a good education. 

I am here at a loss to say what is now paid to our 
English elementary schools, generally, through the 
state. In my own neighborhood, those who for 
merly received from 2os to 305 a scholar, now have 
from 20 to 30 dollars; and having no other informa 
tion to go on, I must use my own numbers, the re 
sult of which, however, will be easily corrected, and 
accomodated to the average price through the state, 
when ascertained; and will yet, I am persuaded, 
leave abundance of difference between the two 

Taking a medium of $25, the 40 pupils in each 
ward now cost $1000 a year, instead of $150, or $15 
on a family, instead of $2.24; and 1200 wards cost 
to the whole state $1,200,000 of tax, in addition to 
the present $500,000 instead of $180,000 only; pro 
ducing a difference of $1,020,000 in favor of the ward 
system, more than doubling the present tax, instead 
of adding one third only, and should the price of tui 
tion, which I have adopted from that in my own 
neighborhood, be much above the average thro the 
state, yet no probable correction will bring the two 
systems near a level. 

But take into consideration, also, the important 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 85 

difference, that the $1,200,000 are now paid by the 
people as a poll tax, the poor having as many child 
ren as the rich, and paying the whole tuition money 
themselves; whereas, on the proposed ward levies 
the poor man would pay in proportion to his hut and 
peculium only, which the rich would pay on their 
palaces and principalities. It cannot, then be that 
the people will not agree to have their tuition tax 
lightened by levies on the ward rather than on them 
selves; and as little believe that their representa 
tives will disagree to it ; for even the rich will pay 
less than they do now. The portion of the $180,000, 
which, on the ward system, they will pay for the edu 
cation of the poor as well as of their own children, will 
not be as much as they now pay for their own alone. 
And will the wealthy individual have no retribu 
tion? and what will this be? i. The peopling his 
neighborhood with honest, useful and enlightened 
citizens, understanding their own rights and firm in 
their perpetuation. 2. When his own descendants 
became poor, which they generally do within three 
generations, (no law of Primogeniture now perpetu 
ating wealth in the same families) their children will 
be educated by the then rich, and the little advance 
he now makes to poverty, while rich himself, will be 
repaid by the then rich, to his descendants when 
become poor, and thus give them a chance of rising 
again. This is a solid consideration, and should go 
home to the bosom of every parent. This will be 
seed sowed in fertile ground. It is a provision for 
his family looking to distant times, and far in dura 
tion beyond that he has now in hand for them. Let 

86 The Writings of [iSi8 

every man count backwards in his own family, and 
see how many generations he can go, before he comes 
to the ancestor who made the fortune he now holds. 
Most will be stopped at the first generation, many at 
the 2d, few will reach the third, and not one in the 
state go beyond the 5th. 

I know that there is much prejudice, even among 
the body of the people, against the expense and even 
the practicability of a sufficient establishment of ele 
mentary schools, but I think it proceeds from vague 
ideas on a subject they have never brought to the 
test of facts and figures ; but our representatives will 
fathom its depths, and the people could and would 
do the same, if the facts and considerations belong 
ing to the subject were presented to their minds and 
their subsequent as certainly as their previous appro 
bation, would be secured. 

But if the whole expense of the elementary schools, 
wages, subsistence and buildings are to come from 
the literary fund, and if we are to wait until that 
fund shall be accumulated to the requisite amount, 
we justly fear that some one unlucky legislature will 
intervene within the time, charge the whole appro 
priation to the lightening of taxes, and leave us where 
we now are. 

There is, however, an intermediate measure which 
might bring the two plans together. If the literary 
fund be of one and a half million of dollars, take the 
half million for the colleges and university, it will 
establish them meagrely and make a deposite of the 
remaining million. Its interest of $60,000 will give 
$50 a year to each ward, towards the teacher s 

Thomas Jefferson 87 

wages, and reduce the tax to 24 instead of 36 cents 
to the dollar; and as the literary fund continues to 
accumulate give one-third of the increase to the col 
leges and university and two -thirds to the ward 
schools. The increasing interest of this last portion 
will be continually lessening the school tax, until it 
will extinguish it altogether; the subsistence and 
buildings remaining always to be furnished by the 
ward in kind. 

A system of general instruction, which shall reach 
every description of our citizens from the richest to 
the poorest, as it was the earliest, so will it be the 
latest of all the public concerns in which I shall per 
mit myself to take an interest. Nor am I tenacious 
of the form in which it shall be introduced. Be that 
what it may, our descendants will be as wise as we 
are, and will know how to amend and amend it, until 
it shall suit their circumstances. Give it to us, then 
in any shape, and receive for the inestimable boon 
the thanks of the young and the blessings of the old, 
who are past all other services but prayers for the 
prosperity of their country and blessings for those 
who promote it. 


MONTICELLO, March 3, 1818. 

DEAR SIR, I have just received your favor of 
February 2oth, in which you observe that Mr. Wirt, 
on page 47 of his Life of Patrick Henry, quotes me as 
saying that "Mr. Henry certainly gave the first im 
pulse to the ball of revolution." I well recollect to 

88 The Writings of [1818 

have used some such expression in a letter to him, 
and am tolerably certain that our own State being 
the subject under contemplation, I must have used 
it with respect to that only. Whether he has given 
it a more general aspect I cannot say, as the passage 
is not in the page you quote, nor, after thumbing 
over much of the book, have I been able to find it. 1 
In page 417 there is something like it, but not the 
exact expression, and even there it may be doubted 
whether Mr. Wirt had his eye on Virginia alone, or 
on all the colonies. But the question, who com 
menced the revolution? is as difficult as that of the 
first inventors of a thousand good things. For ex 
ample, who first discovered the principle of gravity? 
Not Newton; for Galileo, who died the year that 
Newton was born, had measured its force in the 
descent of gravid bodies. Who invented the Lavoi- 
serian chemistry? The English say Dr. Black, by 
the preparatory discovery of latent heat. Who in 
vented the steamboat? Was it Gerbert, the Mar 
quis of Worcester, Newcomen, Savary, Papin, Fitch, 
Fulton ? The fact is, that one new idea leads to an 
other, that to a third, and so on through a course of 
time until some one, with whom no one of these ideas 
was original, combines all together, and produces 
what is justly called a new invention. I suppose it 
would be as difficult to trace our revolution to its 
first embryo. We do not know how long it was 
hatching in the British cabinet before they ventured 
to make the first of the experiments which were 
to develop it in the end and to produce complete 

1 It was on page 41. 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 89 

parliamentary supremacy. Those you mention in 
Massachusetts as preceding the stamp act, might be 
the first visible symptoms of that design. The propo 
sition of that act in 1764, was the first here. Your 
opposition, therefore, preceded ours, as occasion was 
sooner given there than here, and the truth, I sup 
pose, is, that the opposition in every colony began 
whenever the encroachment was presented to it. 
This question of priority is as the inquiry would be 
who first, of the three hundred Spartans, offered his 
name to Leonidas? I shall be happy to see justice 
done to the merits of all, by the unexceptionable 
umpirage of date and facts, and especially from the 
pen which is proposed to be employed in it. 

I rejoice, indeed, to learn from you that Mr. Adams 
retains the strength of his memory, his faculties, his 
cheerfulness, and even his epistolary industry. This 
last is gone from me. The aversion has been grow 
ing on me for a considerable time, and now, near the 
close of seventy -five, is become almost insuperable. 
I am much debilitated in body, and my memory 
sensibly on the wane. Still, however, I enjoy good 
health and spirits, and am as industrious a reader as 
when a student at college. Not of newspapers. 
These I have discarded. I relinquish, as I ought to 
do, all intermeddling with public affairs, committing 
myself cheerfully to the watch and care of those for 
whom, in my turn I have watched and cared. When 
I contemplate the immense advances in science and 
discoveries in the arts which have been made within 
the period of my life, I look forward with confidence 
to equal advances by the present generation, and 

90 The Writings of 

have no doubt they will consequently be as much 
wiser than we have been as we than our fathers were, 
and they than the burners of witches. Even the 
metaphysical contest, which you so pleasantly de 
scribed to me in a former letter, will probably end in 
improvement, by clearing the mind of Platonic mys 
ticism and unintelligible jargon. Although age is 
taking from me the power of communicating by let 
ter with my friends as industriously as heretofore, I 
shall still claim with them the same place they will 
ever hold in my affections, and on this ground I, with 
sincerity and pleasure, assure you of my great esteem 
and respect. 


MONTICELLO, March 14, 1818. 

DEAR SIR, Your letter of February iyth found 
me suffering under an attack of rheumatism, which 
has but now left me at sufficient ease to attend to the 
letters I have received. A plan of female education 
has never been a subject of systematic contempla 
tion with me. It has occupied my attention so far 
only as the education of my own daughters occasion 
ally required. Considering that they would be placed 
in a country situation, where little aid could be ob 
tained from abroad, I thought it essential to give 
them a solid education, which might enable them, 
when become mothers, to educate their own daugh 
ters, and even to direct the course for sons, should 
their fathers be lost, or incapable, or inattentive. 
My surviving daughter accordingly, the mother of 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 91 

many daughters as well as sons, has made their edu 
cation the object of her life, and being a better judge 
of the practical part than myself, it is with her aid 
and that of one of her eleves that I shall subjoin a 
catalogue of the books for such a course of reading 
as we have practiced. 

A great obstacle to good education is the inordin 
ate passion prevalent for novels, and the time lost in 
that reading which should be instructively employed. 
When this poison infects the mind, it destroys its tone 
and revolts it against wholesome reading. Reason 
and fact, plain and unadorned, are rejected. Nothing 
can engage attention unless dressed in all the fig 
ments of fancy, and nothing so bedecked comes 
amiss. The result is a bloated imagination, sickly 
judgment, and disgust towards all the real businesses 
of life. This mass of trash, however, is not without 
some distinction; some few modelling their narra 
tives, although fictitious, on the incidents of real 
life, have been able to make them interesting and 
useful vehicles of a sound morality. Such, I think, 
are Marmontel s new moral tales, but not his old 
ones, which are really immoral. Such are the writ 
ings of Miss Edgeworth, and some of those of Madame 
Genlis. For a like reason, too, much poetry should 
not be indulged. Some is useful for forming style 
and taste. Pope, Dryden, Thompson, Shakspeare, 
and of the French, Moli&re, Racine, the Corneilles, 
may be read with pleasure and improvement. 

The French language, become that of the general 
intercourse of nations, and from their extraordinary 
advances, now the depository of all science, is an 

92 The Writings of 

indispensable part of education for both sexes. In 
the subjoined catalogue, therefore, I have placed the 
books of both languages indifferently, according as 
the one or the other offers what is best. 

The ornaments too, and the amusements of life, 
are entitled to their portion of attention. These, for 
a female, are dancing, drawing, and music. The 
first is a healthy exercise, elegant and very attrac 
tive for young people. Every affectionate parent 
would be pleased to see his daughter qualified to par 
ticipate with her companions, and without awkward 
ness at least, in the circles of festivity, of which she 
occasionally becomes a part. It is a necessary ac 
complishment, therefore, although of short use, for 
the French rule is wise, that no lady dances after 
marriage. This is founded in solid physical reasons, 
gestation and nursing leaving little time to a mar 
ried lady when this exercise can be either safe or 
innocent. Drawing is thought less of in this country 
than in Europe. It is an innocent and engaging 
amusement, often useful, and a qualification not to be 
neglected in one who is to become a mother and an 
instructor. Music is invaluable where a person has 
an ear. Where they have not, it should not be at 
tempted. It furnishes a delightful recreation for the 
hours of respite from the cares of the day, and lasts 
us through life. The taste of this country, too, calls 
for this accomplishment more strongly than for 
either of the others. 

I need say nothing of household economy, in which 
the mothers of our country are generally skilled, and 
generally careful to instruct their daughters. We 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 93 

all know its value, and that diligence and dexterity 
in all its processes are inestimable treasures. The 
order and economy of a house are as honorable to the 
mistress as those of the farm to the master, and if 
either be neglected, ruin follows, and children desti 
tute of the means of living. 

This, Sir, is offered as a summary sketch on a sub 
ject on which I have not thought much. It prob 
ably contains nothing but what has already occurred 
to yourself, and claims your acceptance on no other 
ground than as a testimony of my respect for your 
wishes, and of my great esteem and respect. 


MONTICELLO, Apr. 9. 18. 

DEAR SIR, I avail myself as usual of the protec 
tion of your cover for my letters that to Cathalan 
need only be put into the post office; but for that 
for Appleton I must ask the favor of you to adopt 
the safest course which circumstances offer. You 
will have seen by the newspapers that there is a de 
cided ascendancy of the republican party in nearly 
all the states. Connecticut decidedly so. It is 
thought the elections of this month in Massachusetts 
will at length arrange that recreant state on the re 
publican side. Maryland is doubtful, and Delaware 
only decidedly Anglican; for the term federalist is 
nearly laid aside, and the distinction begins to be in 
name, what it always was in fact, that ig to say 
Anglican and American. There are some turbid ap 
pearances in Congress. A quondam colleague of 

94 The Writings of [1818 

yours, who had acquired some distinction and favor 
in the public eye is throwing it away by endeavour 
ing to obtain his end by rallying an opposition to the 
administration. This error has already ruined some 
among us, and will ruin others who do not perceive 
that it is the steady abuse of power in other govern 
ments which renders that of opposition always the 
popular party. I imagine you receive the news 
papers and these will give you everything which I 
know; so I will only add the assurances of my con 
stant affection & respect. 


MONTICELLO, May 17, 1818. 

DEAR SIR, I was so unfortunate as not to receive 
from Mr. Holly s own hand your favor of January 
the 28th, being then at my other home. He dined 
only with my family, and left them with an impres 
sion which has filled me with regret that I did not 
partake of the pleasure his visit gave them. I am 
glad he is gone to Kentucky. Rational Christianity 
will thrive more rapidly there than here. They are 
freer from prejudices than we are, and bolder in 
grasping at truth. The time is not distant, though 
neither you nor I shall see it, when we shall be but a 
secondary people to them. Our greediness for wealth, 
and fantastical expense, have degraded, and will 
degrade, the minds of our maritime citizens. These 
are the peculiar vices of commerce. 

I had been long without hearing from you, but 
I had heard of you through a letter from Doctor 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 95 

Water-house. He wrote to reclaim against an ex 
pression of Mr. Wirt s, as to the commencement of 
motion in the revolutionary ball. The lawyers say 
that words are always to be expounded secundum sub- 
jectani materiem, which, in Mr. Wirt s case, was Vir 
ginia. It would, moreover, be as difficult to say at 
what moment the Revolution began, and what inci 
dent set it in motion, as to fix the moment that the 
embryo becomes an animal, or the act which gives 
him a beginning. But the most agreeable part of his 
letter was that which informed me of your health, 
your activity, and strength of memory; and the 
most wonderful, that which assured me that you re 
tained your industry and promptness in epistolary 
correspondence. Here you have entire advantage 
over me. My repugnance to the writing table be 
comes daily and hourly more deadly and insur 
mountable. In place of this has come on a canine 
appetite for reading. And I indulge it, because I 
see in it a relief against the t&dium senectutis; a 
lamp to lighten my path through the dreary wilder 
ness of time before me, whose bourne I see not. 
Losing daily all interest in the things around us, 
something else is necessary to fill the void. With 
me it is reading, which occupies the mind without the 
labor of producing ideas from my own stock. 

I enter into all your doubts as to the event of the 
revolution of South America. They will succeed 
against Spain. But the dangerous enemy is within 
their own breasts. Ignorance and superstition will 
chain their minds and bodies under religious and 
military despotism. I do believe it would be better 

96 The Writings of [1818 

for them to obtain freedom by degrees only; be 
cause that would by degrees bring on light and 
information, and qualify them to take charge of 
themselves understandingly ; with more certainty, if 
in the meantime, under so much control as may keep 
them at peace with one another. Surely, it is our 
duty to wish them independence and self-govern 
ment, because they wish it themselves, and they have 
the right, and we none, to choose for themselves, and 
I wish, moreover, that our ideas may be erroneous, 
and theirs prove well founded. But these are specu 
lations, my friend, which we may as well deliver over 
to those who are to see their development. We 
shall only be lookers on, from the clouds above, 
as now we look down on the labors, the hurry and 
bustle of the ants and bees. Perhaps in that super 
mundane region, we may be amused with seeing the 
fallacy of our own guesses, and even the nothingness 
of those labors which have filled and agitated our 
own time here. 

En attendant, with sincere affections to Mrs. 
Adams and yourself, I salute you both cordially. 


MONTICELLO, May 28. 18. 

DEAR SIR, Our fathers taught us an excellent 
maxim " never to put off to tomorrow what you can 
do today." By some of their degenerate sons this 
has been reversed by never doing today what we can 

1 From the original in the possession of the Virginia Historical 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 97 

put off to tomorrow. For example I have been more 
than a year intending to send you a Merino ram, 
next week, and week after week it has been put off 
still to next week, which, like tomorrow was never 
present. I now however send you one of full blood, 
born of my imported ewe of the race called Aquerres, 
by the imported ram of the Paular race which be 
longed to the Prince of peace, was sold by order of 
the Junto of Estremadura, was purchased and sent 
to me 18 10, by Mr Jarvis our Consul at Lisbon. The 
Paular s are deemed the finest race in Spain for size 
& wool taken together, the aquerres superior to all 
in wool, but small. Supposing the season with you 
has not yet given you peas, the opportunity has in- 
ticed me to send you a mess. I have not yet com 
municated your hospitable message to Mr. Madison 
but shall soon have an opportunity of doing it. To 
my engagement I must annex a condition that in 
case of an adjournment to Charlottesville you make 
Monticello your headquarters. But in my opinion 
we should not adjourn at all, and to any other place 
rather than either of those in competition. I think 
the opinion of the legislature strongly implied in 
their avoiding both these places, and calling us to 
one between both. My own opinion will be against 
any adjournment, as long as we can get bread & 
water & a floor to lie on at the gap & particularly 
against one Westwardly, because there we shall want 
water. But my information is that we shall be toler 
ably off at the Gap. That they have 40 lodging 
rooms and are now making ample preparations. A 
waggon load of beds has passed thro Charlottesville, 

VOL. XII. 7- 

98 The Writings of (iSi8 

which at that season however we shall not need. I 
will certainly however pay you a visit, probably on 
the day after our meeting (Sunday) as we shall not 
yet have entered on business. Be so good as to 
present my respects to Mrs Stuart and to be assured 
of my constant friendship. 


MONTICELLO, June 25. 18. 

DEAR GENERAL, A life so much employed in pub 
lic as yours has been, must subject you often to be 
appealed to for facts by those whom they concern. 
An occasion occurs to myself of asking this kind of 
aid from your memory & documents. The posthum 
ous volume of Wilson s Ornithology, altho published 
some time since, never happened to be seen by me 
until a few days ago. In the account of his life, pre 
fixed to that volume his biographer indulges himself 
in a bitter invective against me, as having refused 
to employ Wilson on Pike s expedition to the Arkan 
sas, on which particularly he wished to have been 
employed. On turning to my papers I have not a 
scrip of a pen on the subject of that expedition which 
convinces me that it was not one of those which 
emanated from myself: and if a decaying memory 
does not deceive me I think that it was ordered by 
yourself from St. Louis, while Governor and military 
commander there; that it was an expedition for 
reconnoitring the Indian and Spanish positions which 
might be within striking distance; that so far from 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 99 

being an expedition admitting a leisurely and scien 
tific examination of the natural history of the coun 
try, it s movements were to be on the alert, & too 
rapid to be accommodated to the pursuits of scien 
tific men; that if previously communicated to the 
Executive, it was not in time for them, from so great 
a distance, to have joined scientific men to it; nor 
is it probable it could be known at all to Mr. Wilson 
and to have excited his wishes and expectations to 
join it. If you will have the goodness to consult 
your memory and papers on this subject, & to write 
me the result you will greatly oblige me. 

My retirement placed me at once in a state of such 
pleasing freedom and tranquility, that I determined 
never more to take any concern in public affairs, but 
to consider myself merely as a passenger in the pub 
lic vessel, placed under the pilotage of others, in 
whom too my confidence was entire. I therefore dis 
continued all correspondence on public subjects, and 
was satisfied to hear only so much as true or false, 
as a newspaper or two could give me. In these I 
sometimes saw matters of much concern, and par 
ticularly that of your retirement. A witness myself 
of the merit of your services while I was in a situa 
tion to know and to feel their benefit, I made no en 
quiry into the circumstances which terminated them, 
whether moving from yourself or others. With the 
assurance however that my estimate of their value 
remains unaltered, I pray you to accept that of my 
great and continued esteem and respect. 

ioo The Writings of 




DEAR SIR, Totally withdrawn from all attention 
to public affairs, & void of all anxiety about them as re 
posing entire confidence in those who administer them, 
I am led to some remarks on a particular subject by 
having heretofore taken some concern in it, and I 
should not do it even now but for information that you 
had turned your attention to it at the last session of 
Congress, and meant to do it again at the ensuing one. 

When Mr. Dallas s Tariff first appeared in the pub 
lic papers, I observed that among his reforms, none 
was proposed on the most exceptionable article in 
Mr. Hamilton s original Tariff, I mean that of wines. 
I think it a great error to consider a heavy tax on 
wines, as a tax on luxury. On the contrary it is a 
tax on the health of our citizens. It is a legislative 
declaration that none but the richest of them shall 
be permitted to drink wine, and in effect a condemna 
tion of all the middling & lower conditions of society 
to the poison of whisky, which is destroying them by 
wholesale, and ruining their families. Whereas were 
the duties on the cheap wines proportioned to their 
first cost the whole middling class of this country 
could have the gratification of that milder stimulus, 
and a great proportion of them would go into it s 
use and banish the baneful whisky. Surely it is not 
from the necessities of our treasury that we thus 
undertake to debar the mass of our citizens the use 
of not only an innocent gratification, but a healthy 
substitute instead of a bewitching poison. This 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 101 

aggression on the public taste and comfort has been 
ever deemed among the most arbitrary & oppressive 
abuses of the English government. It is one which 
I hope we shall never copy. But the truth is that 
the treasury would gain in the long run by the vast 
extension of the use of the article. I should there 
fore be for encouraging the use of wine by placing it 
among the articles of lightest duty. But be this as 
it may, take what rate of duty is thought proper, 
but carry it evenly thro the cheap as well as the 
highest priced wines. If we take the duty on Madeira 
as the standard, it will be of about 25 per cent on the 
first cost, and I am sensible it lessens frauds to enum 
erate the wines known and used here, and to lay a 
specific duty on them, according to their known cost, 
but then the unknown and non enumerated should 
be admitted at the same per cent on their first cost. 
There are abundance of wines in Europe some weak, 
some strong, & of good flavor which do not cost 
there more than 2 cents a quart, and which are dutied 
here at 15. cents. I have myself imported wines 
which cost but 4. cents the quart and paid 15 cents 
duty. But an extraordinary inconsistence is in the 
following provisions of the Tariff. Claret & other 
wines not enumerated 

imported in bottles, per gallon 70 cents 

when imported otherwise than in bottles. 25. cents 

black bottles, glass, quart, per gross 144. cents 

If a cask of wine then is imported, and the bottles 
brought empty to put it into, the wine pays 6i cents 
the quart, & the bottles i. cent, making 7^ cents a 
bottle. But if the same wine is put into the same 

102 The Writings of [1818 

bottles there it pays 15 cents the quart, which is a 
tax of 7! cents (more than doubling the duty) for 
the act of putting it into the bottle there, where it 
is so much more skilfully done and contributes so 
much to the preservation of the wine on it s passage, 
for many of the cheap wines will not bear transporta 
tion in the cask which stand it well enough in the 
bottle. This is a further proscription of the light 
wines, and giving the monopoly of our tables to the 
strong & alcoholic, such as are all but equivalent in 
their effects to whisky. It would certainly be much 
more for the health & temperance of society to en 
courage the use of the weak, rather than the strong 
wines. 2. cents a quart first cost, & i a cent duty 
would give us wine at 2^ cents the bottle with the 
addition of freight & other small charges, which is 
but half the price of grog. 

These, dear Sir, are the thoughts which have long 
dwelt on my mind, and have given me the more con 
cern as I have the more seen of the loathsome and 
fatal effects of whisky, destroying the fortunes, the 
bodies, the minds & morals of our citizens. I sug 
gest them only to you, who can turn them to account 
if just; without meaning to add the trouble of an 
answer to the overwhelming labors of your office. 
In all cases accept the assurance of my sincere 
esteem & high consideration. 


MONTICELLO, November 13, 1818. 

The public papers, my dear friend, announce the 
fatal event of which your letter of October the 2oth 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 103 

had given me ominous foreboding. Tried myself in 
the school of affliction, by the loss of every form of 
connection which can rive the human heart, I know 
well, and feel what you have lost, what you have 
suffered, are suffering, and have yet to endure. The 
same trials have taught me that for ills so immeasur 
able, time and silence are the only medicine. I will 
not, therefore, by useless condolences, open afresh 
the sluices of your grief, nor, although mingling sin 
cerely my tears with yours, will I say a word more 
where words are vain, but that it is of some comfort 
to us both, that the term is not very distant, at 
which we are to deposit in the same cerement, our 
sorrows and suffering bodies, and to ascend in es 
sence to an ecstatic meeting with the friends we have 
loved and lost, and whom we shall still love and 
never lose again. God bless you and support you 
under your heavy affliction. 


MONTICELLO, November 24, 18. 

DEAR SIR, Your letter of July 22 was most ac 
ceptable to me, by the distinctness of the view it 
presented of the state of France. I rejoice in the 
propsect that that country will so soon recover from 
the effects of the depression under which it has been 
laboring; and especially I rejoice in the hope of its 
enjoying a government as free as perhaps the state 
of things will yet bear. It appears to me, indeed, 
that their constitution, as it now is, gives them a 
legislative branch more equally representative, more 

104 The Writings of [1818 

independent, and certainly of more integrity, than 
the corresponding one in England. Time and ex 
perience will give what is still wanting, and I hope 
they will wait patiently for that without hazarding 
new convulsions. 

Here all is well. The President s message, deliv 
ered a few days ago, will have given you a correct 
view of the state of our affairs. The capture of Pen- 
sacola, which furnished so much speculation for Eu 
ropean news-writers (who imagine that our political 
code, like theirs, had no chapter of morality), was 
nothing here. In the first moment, indeed, there 
was a general outcry of condemnation of what ap 
peared to be a wrongful aggression. But this was 
quieted at once by information that it had been 
taken without orders and would be instantly re 
stored; and although done without orders, yet not 
without justifiable cause, as we are assured will be 
satisfactorily shown. This manifestation of the will 
of our citizens to countenance no injustice towards 
a foreign nation filled me with comfort as to our 
future course. 

Emigration to the West and South is going on 
beyond anything imaginable. The President told 
me lately that the sales of public lands within the 
last year would amount to ten millions of dollars. 
There is one only passage in his message which I 
disapprove, and which I trust will not be approved 
by our legislature. It is that which proposes to 
subject the Indians to our laws without their con 
sent. A little patience and a little money are so 
rapidly producing their voluntary removal across the 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 105 

Mississippi, that I hope this immorality will not be 
permitted to stain our history. He has certainly 
been surprised into this proposition, so little in 
concord with our principles of government. 

My strength has been sensibly declining the last 
few years, and my health greatly broken by an ill 
ness of three months, from which I am but now re 
covering. I have been able to get on horseback 
within these three or four days, and trust that my 
convalescence will now be steady. I am to write 
you a letter on the subject of my friend Cathalan, a 
very intimate friend of three and thirty years stand 
ing, and a servant of the United States of near forty 
years. I am aware that his office is coveted by an 
other, and suppose it possible that intrigue may have 
been employed to get him removed. But I know 
him too well not to pronounce him incapable of such 
misconduct as ought to overweigh the long course of 
his services to the United States. I confess I should 
feel with great sensibility a disgrace inflicted on him 
at this period of life. But on this subject I must 
write to you more fully when I shall have more 
strength, for as yet I sit at the writing table with 
great pain. 

I am obliged to usurp the protection of your cover 
for my letters a trouble, however, which will be rare 
hereafter. My package is rendered more bulky on 
this occasion by a book I transmit for M. Tracy. It 
is a translation of his Economic politique, which we 
have made and published here in the hope of ad 
vancing our countrymen somewhat in that science; 
the most profound ignorance of which threatened 

io6 The Writings of [1818 

irreparable disaster during the late war, and by the 
parasite institutions of banks is now consuming the 
public industry. The flood with which they are delug 
ing us of nominal money has placed us completely 
without any certain measure of value, and, by inter 
polating a false measure, is deceiving and ruining 
multitudes of our citizens. 

I hope your health, as well as Mrs. Gallatin s, con 
tinues good, and that whether you serve us there or 
here, you will long continue to us your services. 
Their value and their need are fully understood and 
appreciated. I salute you with constant and affec 
tionate friendship and respect. 


MONTICELLO, December 4, 1818. 

DEAR SIR, Yours of November the 8th has been 
some time received; but it is in my power to give 
little satisfaction as to its inquiries. Dr. Franklin 
had many political enemies, as every character must, 
which, with decision enough to have opinions, has 
energy and talent to give them effect on the feelings 
of the adversary- opinion. These enmities were 
chiefly in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. In the 
former, they were merely of the proprietary party. 
In the latter, they did not commence till the Revolu 
tion, and then sprung chiefly fom personal animosi 
ties, which spreading by little and little, became at 
length of some extent. Dr. Lee was his principal 
calumniator, a man of much malignity, who, besides 
enlisting his whole family in the same hostility, was 

i8i8] Thomas Jefferson 107 

enabled, as the agent of Massachusetts with the 
British government, to infuse it into that State with 
considerable effect. Mr. Izard, the Doctor s enemy 
also, but from a pecuniary transaction, never coun 
tenanced these charges against him. Mr. Jay, Silas 
Deane, Mr. Laurens, his colleagues also, ever main 
tained towards him unlimited confidence and respect. 
That he would have waived the formal recognition 
of our independence, I never heard on any authority 
worthy notice. As to the fisheries, England was 
urgent to retain them exclusively, France neutral, 
and I believe, that had they been ultimately made a 
sine qua non, our commissioners (Mr. Adams ex- 
cepted) would have relinquished them, rather than 
have broken off the treaty. To Mr. Adams perse 
verance alone, on that point, I have always under 
stood we were indebted for their reservation. As to 
the charge of subservience to France, besides the 
evidence of his friendly colleagues before named, two 
years of my own service with him at Paris, daily 
visits, and the most friendly and confidential con 
versation, convince me it had not a shadow of 
foundation. He possessed the confidence of that 
government in the highest degree, insomuch, that it 
may truly be said, that they were more under his 
influence, than he under theirs. The fact is, that his 
temper was so amiable and conciliatory, his conduct 
so rational, never urging impossibilities, or even 
things unreasonably inconvenient to them, in short, 
so moderate and attentive to their difficulties, as well 
as our own, that what his enemies called subservi 
ency, I saw was only that reasonable disposition, 

io8 The Writings of [1818 

which, sensible that advantages are not all to be 
on one side, yielding what is just and liberal, is 
the more certain of obtaining liberality and justice. 
Mutual confidence produces, of course, mutual influ 
ence, and this was all which subsisted between Dr. 
Franklin and the government of France. 

I state a few anecdotes of Dr. Franklin, 1 within my 
own knowledge, too much in detail for the scale of 
Delaplaine s work, but which may find a cadre in 
some of the more particular views you contemplate. 

1 "Our revolutionary process as is well known, commenced by 
petitions, memorials, remonstrances &c. from the old Congress. 
These were followed by a non-importation agreement, as a pacific 
instrument of coercion. While that was before us, and sundry 
exceptions, as of arms, ammunition &c. were moved from different 
quarters of the house, I was sitting by Dr. Franklin and observed 
to him that I thought we should except books: that we ought not to 
exclude science, even coming from an enemy. He thought so too, 
and I proposed the exception, which was agreed to. Soon after it 
occured that medicine should be excepted, & I suggested that also to 
the Doctor. As to that, said he I will tell you a story. When I was 
in London, in such a year, there was a weekly club of Physicians, of 
which St. John Pringle was President, and I was invited by my friend 
Dr. Fothergill to attend when convenient. Their rule was to propose 
a thesis one week, and discuss it the next. I happened there when 
the question to be considered was whether Physicians had, on the 
whole, done most good or harm? The young members, particularly, 
having discussed it very learnedly and eloquently till the subject was 
exhausted, one of them observed to St. John Pringle, that, altho it 
was not usual for the President to take part in a debate, yet they were 
desirous to know his opinion on the question. He said, they must 
first tell him whether, under the appellation of Physicians, they 
meant to include old women; if they did, he thought they had done 
more good than harm, otherwise more harm than good. 

"The confederation of the States, while on the carpet before the old 
Congress, was strenuously opposed by the smaller states, under ap 
prehensions that they would be swallowed up by the larger ones. We 
were long engaged in the discussion; it produced great heats, much 
ill humor, and intemperate declarations from some members. Dr. 
Franklin at length brought the debate to a close with one of his little 

1818] Thomas Jefferson 109 

My health is in a great measure restored, and our 
family join with me in affectionate recollections and 
assurances of -respect. 


MONTICELLO, January 12, 1819. 

DEAR SIR, The problem you had wished to pro 
pose to me was one which I could not have solved; 

apologues. He observed that at the time of the Union of England & 
Scotland, the Duke of Argyle was most violently opposed to that 
measure, and among other things predicted that, as the whale had 
swallowed Jonas, so Scotland would be swallowed by England. 
However/ said the Doctor, when Ld. Bute came into the govern 
ment, he soon brought into it s administration so many of his country 
men that it was found in event that Jonas swallowed the whale. 
This little story produced a general laugh, restored good humor, & 
the Article of difficulty was passed. 

"When Dr. Franklin went to France on his revolutionary mission, 
his eminence as a philosopher, his venerable appearance, and the 
cause on which he was sent, rendered him extremely popular. For 
all ranks and conditions of men there, entered warmly into the Ameri 
can interest. He was therefore feasted and invited to all the court 
parties. At these he sometimes met the old Duchess of Bourbon, 
who being a chess player of about his force, they very generally 
played together. Happening once to put her king into prise, the 
Doctor took it. Ah, says she, we do not take kings so. We do in 
America, said the Doctor. 

"At one of these parties, the emperor Joseph II, then at Paris, 
incog, under the title of Count Falkenstein, was overlooking the game, 
in silence, while the company was engaged in animated conversations 
on the American question. How happens it M. le Comte, said the 
Duchess, that while we all feel so much interest in the cause of the 
Americans, you say nothing for them ? I am a king by trade, 
said he. 

"When the Declaration of Independence was under the considera 
tion of Congress, there were two or three unlucky expressions in it 
which gave offence to some members. The words Scotch and other 
foreign auxiliaries excited the ire of a gentleman or two of that 
country. Severe strictures on the conduct of the British king, in 

no The Writings of [1819 

for I knew nothing of the facts. I read no news 
paper now but Ritchie s, and in that chiefly the ad 
vertisements, for they contain the only truths to be 
relied on in a newspaper. I feel a much greater in 
terest in knowing what has passed two or three 
thousand years ago, than in what is now passing. 

negativing our repeated repeals of the law which permitted the im 
portation of slaves, were disapproved by some Southern gentlemen 
whose reflections were not yet matured to the full abhorrence of that 
traffic. Altho the offensive expressions were immediately yielded, 
these gentlemen continued their depredations on other parts of the 
instrument. I was sitting by Dr. Franklin who perceived that I was 
not insensible to these mutilations. I have made it a rule, said he 
whenever in my power, to avoid becoming the draughtsman of 
papers to be reviewed by a public body. I took my lesson from an 
incident which I will relate to you. When I was a journeyman 
printer, one of my companions, an apprentice Hatter, having served 
out his time, was about to open shop for himself, his first concern 
was to have a handsome signboard, with a proper inscription. He 
composed it in these words "John Thompson, Hatter, makes and sells 
hats for ready money," with a figure of a hat subjoined. But he thought 
he would submit it to his friends for their amendments. The first he 
shewed it to thought the word "Hatter" tautologous, because followed 
by the words "makes hats" which shew he was a Hatter. It was 
struck out. The next observed that the word "makes" might as well 
be omitted, because his customers would not care who made the hats. 
If good & to their mind, they would buy by whomsoever made. He 
struck it out. A third said he thought the words "for ready money, 1 
were useless as it was not the custom of the place to sell on credit. 
Every one who purchased expected to pay. They were parted with, 
and the inscription now stood "John Thompson sells hats." "sells 
hats" says his next friend? "Why nobody will expect you to give 
them away. What then is the use of that word ? " It was stricken out, 
and "hats" followed it, the rather as there was one painted on the 
board. So his inscription was reduced ultimately to John Thompson 
with the figure of a hat subjoined. 

"The Doctor told me, at Paris, the two following anecdotes of 
Abbe Raynal. He had a party to dine with him one day at Passy of 
whom one half were Americans, the other half French & among the 
last was the Abbe. During the dinner he got on his favorite theory 
of the degeneracy of animals and even of man, in America, and urged 
it with his usual eloquence. The Doctor at length noticing the 

i8i9] Thomas Jefferson 1 1 1 

I read nothing, therefore, but of the heroes of Troy, 
of the wars of Lacedaemon and Athens, of Pompey 
and Caesar, and of Augustus too, the Bonaparte and 
parricide scoundrel of that day. I have had, and 
still have, such entire confidence in the late and 
present Presidents, that I willingly put both soul 

accidental stature and positions of his guests, at table, Gome says he, 
M. L Abbe, let us try this question by the fact before us. We are 
here one half Americans, & one half French, and it happens that the 
Americans have placed themselves on one side of the table, and our 
French friends are on the other. Let both parties rise and we will see 
on which side nature has degenerated. It happened that his Ameri 
can guests were Carmichael, Harmer, Humphreys and others of the 
finest stature and form, while those of the other side were remarkably 
diminutive, and the Abbe himself particularly was a mere shrimp. 
He parried the appeal however, by a complimentary admission of 
exceptions, among which the Doctor himself was a conspicuous one. 

"The Doctor & Silas Deane were in conversation one day at Passy 
on the numerous errors in the Abbe s Historic des deux Indes, when he 
happened to step in. After the usual salutations, Silas Deane said to 
him The Doctor and myself Abbe, were just speaking of the errors 
of fact into which you have been led in your history. Oh no, Sir/ 
said the Abbe, that is impossible. I took the greatest care not to 
insert a single fact, for which I had not the most unquestionable 
authority. Why, says Deane, there is the story of Polly Baker, 
and the eloquent apology you have put into her mouth, when brought 
before a court of Massachusetts to suffer punishment under a law, 
which you cite, for having had a bastard. I know there never was 
such a law in Massachusetts. Be assured, said the Abbe, you are 
mistaken, and that that is a true story. I do not immediately recol 
lect indeed the particular information on which I quote it, but I am 
certain that I had for it unquestionable authority. Doctor Franklin 
who had been for some time shaking with restrained laughter at the 
Abbe s confidence in his authority for that tale, said, I will tell you, 
Abbe, the origin of that story. When I was a printer and editor of a 
newspaper, we were sometimes slack of news, and to amuse our 
customers, I used to fill up our vacant columns with anecdotes, and 
fables, and fancies of my own, and this of Polly Baker is a story of my 
making, on one of those occasions. The Abbe without the least dis 
concert, exclaimed with a laugh, Oh, very well, Doctor, I had rather 
relate your stories than other men s truths. " 

ii2 The Writings of [1819 

and body into their pockets. While such men as 
yourself and your worthy colleagues of the legisla 
ture, and such characters as compose the executive 
administration, are watching for us all, I slumber 
without fear, and review in my dreams the visions of 
antiquity. There is, indeed, one evil which awakens 
me at times, because it jostles me at every turn. It 
is that we have now no measure of value. I am 
asked eighteen dollars for a yard of broadcloth, 
which, when we had dollars, I used to get for eighteen 
shillings; from this I can only understand that a 
dollar is now worth but two inches of broadcloth, 
but broadcloth is no standard of measure or value. 
I do not know, therefore, whereabouts I stand in the 
scale of property, nor what to ask, or what to give 
for it. I saw, indeed, the like machinery in action 
in the years 80 and 81, and without dissatisfaction; 
because in wearing out, it was working out our sal 
vation. But I see nothing in this renewal of the 
game of " Robin s alive" but a general demoraliza 
tion of the nation, a filching from industry its honest 
earnings, wherewith to build up palaces, and raise 
gambling stock for swindlers and shavers, who are 
to close too their career of piracies by fraudulent 
bankruptcies. My dependence for a remedy, how 
ever, is with the wisdom which grows with time and 
suffering. Whether the succeeding generation is to 
be more virtuous than their predecessors, I cannot 
say; but I am sure they will have more worldly 
wisdom, and enough, I hope, to know that honesty 
is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. I have 
made a great exertion to write you thus much; my 

Thomas Jefferson 113 

antipathy to taking up a pen being so intense that 
I have never given you a stronger proof, than in the 
effort of writing a letter, how much I value you, and 
of the superlative respect and friendship with which 
I salute you. 


MONTICELLO, Jan. 18. ig. 

You oblige me infinitely, dear Sir, by sending me 
the Congressional documents in pamphlet form. For 
as they come out by piece-meal in the newspapers I 
never read them. And indeed I read no newspapers 
now but Ritchie s, and in that chiefly the advertise 
ments, as being the only truths we can rely on in a 
newspaper. But in a pamphlet, where we can go 
thro the whole subject when once taken up, and 
seen in all it s parts, we avoid the risk of false 
judgment which a partial view endangers. On the 
subject of these communications, I will venture a 
suggestion which, should it have occurred to yourself 
or to Mr. Adams as is probable, will only be a little 
labor lost. I propose then that you select Mr. 
Adams s 4. principal letters on the Spanish subject, 
to wit, that which establishes our right to the Rio- 
bra vo which was laid before the Congress of 1817 .18. 
His letters to Onis of July 23. & Nov. 30. and to 
Erving of Nov. 28 perhaps also that of Dec. 2. Have 
them well translated into French, and send English 
& French copies to all our ministers at foreign courts, 
and to our consuls. The paper on our right to the 
Rio-bra vo, and the letter to Erving of Nov. 28. are 

VOL. XII. 8. 

ii4 The Writings of [1819 

the most important and are among the ablest com 
positions I have ever seen, both as to logic and style. 
A selection of these few in pamphlet form will be 
read by every body; but, by nobody, if buried 
among Onis s long-winded and tergiversating dia 
tribes, and all the documents ; the volume of which 
alone will deter an European reader from ever open 
ing it. Indeed it would be worth while to have the 
two most important of these published in the Leyden 
gazette, from which it would go into the other lead 
ing gazettes of Europe. It is of great consequence 
to us, & merits every possible endeavor, to maintain 
in Europe a correct opinion of our political morality. 
These papers will place the event with the world in 
the important cases of our Western boundary, of 
our military entrance into Florida, & of the execu 
tion of Arbuthnot and Ambrister. On the two first 
subjects it is very natural for an European to go 
wrong, and to give into the charge of ambition, 
which the English papers (read every where) en 
deavor to fix on us. If the European mind is once 
set right on these points, they will go with us in all 
the subsequent proceedings, without further enquiry. 
While on the subject of this correspondence, I will 
presume also to suggest to Mr. Adams the question 
whether he should not send back Onis s letters in 
which he has the impudence to qualify you by the 
term his Excellency " ? An American gentleman in 
Europe can rank with the first nobility because we 
have no titles w r hich stick him at any particular place 
in their line. So the President of the US. under that 
designation ranks with Emperors and kings, but add 

1 8 1 9] Thomas Jefferson 1 1 5 

Mr. Onis s courtesy of "his Excellency" and he is 
then on a level with Mr. Onis himself, with the Gov 
ernors of provinces and even of every petty fort in 
Europe, or the colonies. I salute you with constant 
affection & respect. 


MONTICELLO, Jan. 31. 19. 

DEAR SIR, Your favor of the isth was received 
on the 27th, and I am glad to find the name and 
character of Samuel Adams coming forward and in 
so good hands as I suppose them to be. But I have 
to regret that I can add no facts to the stores pos 
sessed. I was the youngest man but one in the old 
Congress, and he the oldest but one, as I believe. 
His only senior, I suppose, was Stephen Hopkins, of 
and by whom the honorable mention made in your 
letter was richly merited. Altho my high reverence 
for Samuel Adams was returned by habitual notices 
from him which highly nattered me, yet the dispar 
ity of age prevented intimate and confidential com 
munications. I always considered him as more than 
any other member the fountain of our important 
measures. And altho he was neither an eloquent 
nor easy speaker, whatever he said was sound, and 
commanded the profound attention of the House. 
In the discussions on the floor of Congress he re 
posed himself on our main pillar in debate Mr. John 
Adams. These two gentlemen were verily a host in 
our councils. Comparisons with their associates, 
Northern or Southern, would answer no profitable 

n6 The Writings of [1819 


purpose, but they would suffer by comparison with 
none. I salute you with perfect esteem & respect. 


MONTICELLO, Mar. 3. 19. 

DEAR SIR, I promised your gardener some seeds 
which I put under a separate cover and address to 
you by mail. I also inclose you a letter from Mr. 
Cabell which will shew you that the "sour grapes " of 
Wm. & Mary are spreading; but certainly not to the 
"enlightened part of society" as the letter supposes. 
I have sent him a transcript from our journals that 
he may see how far we are under engagements to 
Dr. Cooper. I observe Ritchie imputes to you and 
myself opinions against Jackson s conduct in the 
Seminole war. I certainly never doubted that the 
military entrance into Florida, the temporary occu 
pation of their posts, and the execution of Arbuthnot 
& Ambrister were all justifiable. If I had ever 
doubted P. Barber s speech would have brought me 
to rights. I at first felt regret at the execution ; but 
I have ceased to feel [torn] on mature reflection, and 
a belief the example will save much blood. Affec 
tionately yours. 

P. S. On my return I fell in with Mr. Watson 
who signed our proceedings. 


MONTICELLO, March 21, 1819 

SIR, Your letter of February the i8th came to 
hand on the ist instant; and the request of the 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 1 1 7 

history of my physical habits would have puzzled me 
not a little, had it not been for the model with which 
you accompanied it, of Doctor Rush s answer to a 
similar inquiry. I live so much like other people, 
that I might refer to ordinary life as the history of 
my own. Like my friend the Doctor, I have lived 
temperately, eating little animal food, and that not 
as an aliment, so much as a condiment for the vege 
tables, which constitute my principal diet. I double, 
however, the Doctor s glass and a half of wine, and 
even treble it with a friend ; but halve its effects by 
drinking the weak wines only. The ardent wines I 
cannot drink, nor do I use ardent spirits in any form. 
Malt liquors and cider are my table drinks, and my 
breakfast, like that also of my friend, is of tea and 
coffee. I have been blest with organs of digestion 
which accept and concoct, without ever murmuring, 
whatever the palate chooses to consign to them, and 
I have not yet lost a tooth by age. I was a hard 
student until I entered on the business of life, the 
duties of which leave no idle time to those disposed 
to fulfil them; and now, retired, and at the age of 
seventy -six, I am again a hard student. Indeed, my 
fondness for reading and study revolts me from the 
drudgery of letter writing. And a stiff wrist, the 
consequence of an early dislocation, makes writing 
both slow and painful. I am not so regular in my 
sleep as the Doctor says he was, devoting to it from 
five to eight hours, according as my company or the 
book I am reading interests me; and I never go to 
bed without an hour, or half hour s previous reading 
of something moral, whereon to ruminate in the 

n8 The Writings of [1819 

intervals of sleep. But whether I retire to bed early 
or late, I rise with the sun. I use spectacles at night, 
but not necessarily in the day, unless in reading 
small print. My hearing is distinct in particular 
conversation, but confused when several voices cross 
each other, which unfits me for the society of the 
table. I have been more fortunate than my friend 
in the article of health. So free from catarrhs that 
I have not had one, (in the breast, I mean) on an 
average of eight or ten years through life. I ascribe 
this exemption partly to the habit of bathing my feet 
in cold water every morning, for sixty years past. 
A fever of more than twenty-four hours I have not 
had above two or three times in my life. A periodi 
cal headache has afflicted me occasionally, once, per 
haps, in six or eight years, for two or three weeks at 
a time, which seems now to have left me ; and except 
on a late occasion of indisposition, I enjoy good 
health; too feeble, indeed, to walk much, but riding 
without fatigue six or eight miles a day, and some 
times thirty or forty. I may end these egotisms, 
therefore, as I began, by saying that my life has been 
so much like that of other people, that I might say 
with Horace, to every one "nomine mutato, narratur 
fabula de te." I must not end, however, without due 
thanks for the kind sentiments of regard you are so 
good as to express towards myself; and with my 
acknowledgments for these, be pleased to accept the 
assurances of my respect and esteem. 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 119 


MONTICELLO, May 12, 1819. 

SIR, An absence of some time at an occasional 
and distant residence must apologize for the delay 
in acknowledging the receipt of your favor of April 
1 2th. And candor obliges me to add that it has been 
somewhat extended by an aversion to writing, as 
well as to calls on my memory for facts so much 
obliterated from it by time as to lessen my confi 
dence in the traces which seem to remain. One of 
the inquiries in your letter, however, may be an 
swered without an appeal to the memory. It is that 
respecting the question w r hether committees of cor 
respondence originated in Virginia or Massachusetts? 
On which you suppose me to have claimed it for Vir 
ginia. But certainly I have never made such a 
claim. The idea, I suppose, has been taken up from 
what is said in Wirt s history of Mr. Henry, p. 87, 
and from an inexact attention to its precise term. 
It is there said "this house [of burgesses of Virginia] 
had the merit of originating that powerful engine of 
resistance, corresponding committees between the 
legislatures of the different colonies." That the fact 
as here expressed is true, your letter bears witness 
when it says that the resolutions of Virginia for this 
purpose were transmitted to the speakers of the 
different Assemblies, and by that of Massachusetts 
was laid at the next session before that body, who 
appointed a committee for the specified object : add 
ing, "thus in Massachusetts there were two commit 
tees of correspondence, one chosen by the people, the 
other appointed by the House of Assembly; in 

120 The Writings of [1819 

the former, Massachusetts preceded Virginia ; in the 
latter, Virginia preceded Massachusetts." To the 
origination of committees for the interior corre 
spondence between the counties and towns of a State, 
I know of no claim on the part of Virginia ; but cer 
tainly none was ever made by myself. I perceive, 
however, one error into which memory had led me. 
Our committee for national correspondence was ap 
pointed in March, 73, and I well remember that 
going to Williamsburg in the month of June follow 
ing, Peyton Randolph, our chairman, told me that 
messengers, bearing despatches between the two 
States, had crossed each other by the way ; that of 
Virginia carrying our propositions for a committee 
of national correspondence, and that of Massachu 
setts bringing, as my memory suggested, a similar 
proposition. But here I must have misremembered ; 
and the resolutions brought us from Massachusetts 
were probably those you mention of the town meet 
ing of Boston, on the motion of Mr. Samuel Adams, 
appointing a committee "to state the rights of the 
colonists, and of that province in particular, and the in 
fringements of them, to communicate them to the 
several towns, as the sense of the town of Boston, 
and to request of each town a free communication 
of its sentiments on this subject " ? I suppose, there 
fore, that these resolutions were not received, as you 
think, while the House of Burgesses was in session in 
March, 1773 ; but a few days after we rose, and were 
probably what was sent by the messenger who 
crossed ours by the way. They may, however, have 
been still different. I must therefore have been 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 121 

mistaken in supposing and stating to Mr. Wirt, that 
the proposition of a committee for national corre 
spondence was nearly simultaneous in Virginia and 

A similar misapprehension of another passage in 
Mr. Wirt s book, for which I am also quoted, has pro 
duced a similar reclamation of the part of Massachu 
setts by some of her most distinguished and estimable 
citizens. I had been applied to by Mr. Wirt for such 
facts respecting Mr. Henry, as my intimacy with him, 
and participation in the transactions of the day, 
might have placed within my knowledge. I accord 
ingly committed them to paper, and Virginia being 
the theatre of his action, was the only subject within 
my contemplation, while speaking of him. Of the 
resolutions and measures here, in which he had the 
acknowledged lead, I used the expression that Mr. 
Henry certainly gave the first impulse to the ball of 
revolution. [Wirt, p. 4 1 .] The expression is indeed 
general, and in all its extension would compre 
hend all the sister States. But indulgent construc 
tion would restrain it, as was really meant, to the 
subject matter under contemplation, which was Vir 
ginia alone ; according to the rule of the lawyers, and 
a fair canon of general criticism, that every expression 
should be construed secundum subjectam materiem. 
Where the first attack was made, there must have 
been of course, the first act of resistance, and that 
was of Massachusetts. Our first overt act of war 
was Mr. Henry s embodying a force of militia from 
several counties, regularly armed and organized, 
marching them in military array, and making reprisal 

122 The Writings of [1819 

on the King s treasury at the seat of government 
for the public powder taken away by his Gov 
ernor. This was on the last days of April, 1775. 
Your formal battle of Lexington was ten or twelve 
days before that, which greatly overshadowed in im 
portance, as it preceded in time our little affray, which 
merely amounted to a levying of arms against the 
King, and very possibly you had had military affrays 
before the regular battle of Lexington. 

These explanations will, I hope, assure you, Sir, 
that so far as either facts or opinions have been truly 
quoted from me they have never been meant to in 
tercept the just fame of Massachusetts, for the 
promptitude and perseverance of her early resistance. 
We willingly cede to her the laud of having been 
(although not exclusively) "the cradle of sound prin 
ciples," and if some of us believe she has deflected 
from them in her course, we retain full confidence in 
her ultimate return to them. 

I will now proceed to your quotation from Mr. 
Galloway s statements of what passed in Congress 
on their declaration of independence, in which state 
ment there is not one word of truth, and where, bear 
ing some resemblance to truth, it is an entire 
perversion of it. I do not charge this on Mr. Galloway 
himself; his desertion having taken place long before 
these measures, he doubtless received his informa 
tion from some of the loyal friends whom he left be 
hind him. But as yourself, as well as others, appear 
embarrassed by inconsistent accounts of the pro 
ceedings on that memorable occasion, and as those 
who have endeavored to restore the truth have 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 123 

themselves committed some errors, I will give you 
some extracts from a written document on that sub 
ject, for the truth of which I pledge myself to heaven 
and earth ; having, while the question of independence 
was under consideration before Congress, taken writ 
ten notes, in my seat, of what was passing, and re 
duced them to form on the final conclusion. I have 
now before me that paper, from which the following 
are extracts: * * * I 

Governor McKean, in his letter to McCorkle of 
July 1 6th, 1817, has thrown some lights on the trans 
actions of that day, but trusting to his memory 
chiefly at an age when our memories are not to be 
trusted, he has confounded two questions, and 
ascribed proceedings to one which belonged to the 
other. These two questions were, i. The Virginia 
motion of June yth to declare independence, and 2, 
The actual declaration, its matter and form. Thus 
he states the question on the declaration itself as 
decided on the ist of July. But it was the Virginia 
motion which was voted on that day in committee 
of the whole; South Carolina, as well as Pennsyl 
vania, then voting against it. But the ultimate de 
cision in the House on the report of the committee 
being by request postponed to the next morning, all 
the States voted for it, except New York, whose vote 
was delayed for the reason before stated. It was not 
till the 2d of July that the declaration itself was 
taken up, nor till the 4th that it was decided ; and it 
was signed by every member present, except Mr. 

1 See Vol. I., p. 20, for the document here omitted. 

124 The Writings of [1819 

The subsequent signatures of members who were 
not then present, and some of them not yet in office, 
is easily explained, if we observe who they were ; to 
wit, that they were of New York and Pennsylvania. 
New York did not sign till the 1 5th, because it was 
not till the gth, (five days after the general signature,) 
that their convention authorized them to do so. 
The convention of Pennsylvania, learning that it 
had been signed by a minority only of their dele 
gates, named a new delegation on the 2oth leaving 
out Mr. Dickinson, who had refused to sign, Willing 
and Humphreys who had withdrawn, reappointing 
the three members who had signed, Morris who had 
not been present, and five new ones, to wit, Rush, 
Clymer, Smith, Taylor and Ross; and Morris and the 
five new members were permitted to sign, because 
it manifested the assent of their full delegation, and 
the express will of their convention, which might 
have been doubted on the former signature of a min 
ority only. Why the signature of Thornton of New 
Hampshire was permitted so late as the 4th of No 
vember, I cannot now say; but undoubtedly for 
some particular reason which we should find to have 
been good, had it been expressed. These were the 
only post-signers, and you see, Sir, that there were 
solid reasons for receiving those of New York and 
Pennsylvania, and that this circumstance in no wise 
affects the faith of this declaratory charter of our 
rights and of the rights of man. 

With a view to correct errors of fact before they 
become inveterate by repetition, I have stated what 
I find essentially material in my papers; but with 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 125 

that brevity which the labor of writing constrains me 
to use. 

On the fourth particular articles of inquiry in your 
letter, respecting your grandfather, the venerable 
Samuel Adams, neither memory nor memorandums 
enable me to give any information. I can say that 
he was truly a great man, wise in council, fertile in 
resources, immovable in his purposes, and had, I 
think, a greater share than any other member, in 
advising and directing our measures, in the northern 
war especially. As a speaker he could not be com 
pared with his living colleague and namesake, whose 
deep conceptions, nervous style, and undaunted 
firmness, made him truly our bulwark in debate. 
But Mr. Samuel Adams, although not of fluent elocu 
tion, was so rigorously logical, so clear in his views, 
abundant in good sense, and master always of his 
subject, that he commanded the most profound at 
tention whenever he rose in an assembly by which 
the froth of declamation was heard with the most 
sovereign contempt. I sincerely rejoice that the 
record of his worth is to be undertaken by one so 
much disposed as you will be to hand him down 
fairly to that posterity for whose liberty and happi 
ness he was so zealous a laborer. 

With sentiments of sincere veneration for his mem 
ory, accept yourself this tribute to it with the assur 
ances of my great respect. 

P. S. August 6th, 1822, since the date of this 
letter, to wit, this day, August 6th, 22, I received 
the new publication of the secret Journals of Con 
gress, wherein is stated a resolution, July igth, 1776, 

126 The Writings of x [1819 

that the declaration passed on the 4th be fairly en 
grossed on parchment, and when engrossed, be signed 
by every member; and another of August 2d, that 
being engrossed and compared at the table, was 
signed by the members. That is to say the copy 
engrossed on parchment (for durability) was signed by 
the members after being compared at the table with 
the original one, signed on paper as before stated. 
I add this P. S. to the copy of my letter to Mr. Wells, 
to prevent confounding the signature of the original 
with that of the copy engrossed on parchment. 1 


MONTICELLO, June 22. 19. 

DEAR SIR, Your favor of Mar. i. has been duly 
received, and requires my thanks for the kind offer 

1 Jefferson further wrote to Wells: 

" MONTICELLO, June 23. 19. 

" DEAR SIR, Your favor of the 26. inst. has been duly received, & I 
answer your request to make use of the information given in mine of 
May 12 by a free permission, to employ it for any purpose you may 
think useful. You suppose that the fact that six colonies were not 
yet matured for a separation from the parent stock could not have 
been known unless a vote had been taken. Yet nothing easier. For 
the opinion of every individual was known to every one who had 
anxiety enough on the subject to scrutinize and calculate. There was 
neither concealment nor reserve on the subject on either side; and 
how the vote of each colony would be, if then pushed to a vote was 
exactly ascertainable. Nor does the appointment of a Committee to 
prepare an instrument of confederation offer ground of doubt, for that 
was but a proposition to save time provisionally, and subject to the 
ultimate negative of the minority. It was moreover a necessary 
measure in the opinion of all whether permanent, or limited to the 
duration of the controversy. I certainly will not, on the authority 
of memory alone affirm facts in opposition to Mr. Galloway, Judge 
McKean, or any one else. But what I wrote on the paper from which 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 127 

of your services in London. Books are indeed with 
me a necessary of life; and since I ceded my library 
to Congress, I have been annually importing from 
Paris. Not but that I need some from London also, 
but that they have risen there to such enormous 
prices as cannot be looked at. England must lose 
her foreign commerce in books, unless the taxes on 
it s materials are reduced. Paris now prints the 
most popular of the English books, and sells them 
far below the English price. I send there therefore 
for such of them as I want. We too reprint now 

I sent extracts to you, was written on the spot, in the moment, and is 
true ; and all that remains is to reconcile to that the contradictions of 
others by enquiring whether they may not have confounded different 
subjects, or whether after such a lapse of time their memory has not 
been more liable to err than the litera scripta. Galloway can be no 
better authority than the common herd of passengers in the streets. 
He knew nothing but the rumors of hearsay; for he had quitted us 
long before. And Mr. McKean was very old, and his memory much 
decayed when he gave his statement. 

" The painting lately executed by Colo. Trumbull, I have never seen, 
but as far back as the days of Horace at least we are told that pictori- 
bus atque poetis; Quidlibet audendi semper fuit aequa potestas. He has 
exercised this licentia pictoris in like manner in the surrender of York, 
where he has placed Ld. Cornwallis at the head of the surrender altho 
it is well known that he was excused by General Washington from 

" Of the return of Massachusetts to sound principles I never had a 
doubt. The body of her citizens has never been otherwise than re 
publican. Her would-be dukes and lords, indeed, have been itching 
for coronets; her lawyers for robes of ermin, her priests for lawn 
sleeves, and for a religious establishment which might give them 
wealth, power, and independence of personal merit. But her citizens 
who were to supply with the sweat of their brow the treasures on 
which these drones were to riot, could never have seen any thing to 
long for in the oppressions and pauperism of England. After the 
shackles of Aristocracy of the bar & priesthood have been burst by 
Connecticut, we cannot doubt the return of Massachusetts to the 
bosom of the republican family. 

" I repeat with pleasure the assurance of my great respect & esteem." 

128 The Writings of [1819 

such of the new English works as have merit, much 
cheaper than is done in England, but dearer than 
they ought to be. But we are now under the opera 
tion of the remedy for that. The enormous abuses 
of the banking system are not only prostrating our 
commerce, but producing revolution of property, 
which without more wisdom than we possess, will be 
much greater than were produced by the revolution 
ary paper. That too had the merit of purchasing our 
liberties, while the present trash has only furnished 
aliment to usurers and swindlers. The banks them 
selves were doing business on capitals, three fourths 
of which were fictitious: and, to extend their profit 
they furnished fictitious capital to every man, who 
having nothing and disliking the labours of the 
plough, chose rather to call himself a merchant to 
set up a house of 5000. D. a year expence, to dash 
into every species of mercantile gambling, and if that 
ended as gambling generally does, a fraudulent bank 
ruptcy was an ultimate resource of retirement and 
competence. This fictitious capital probably of 100. 
millions of Dollars, is now to be lost, & to fall on 
some body; it must take on those who have property 
to meet it, & probably on the less cautious part, 
who, not aware of the impending catastrophe have 
suffered themselves to contract, or to be in debt, and 
must now sacrifice their property of a value many 
times the amount of their debt. We have been truly 
sowing the wind, and are now reaping the whirlwind. 
If the present crisis should end in the annihilation of 
these pennyless & ephemeral interlopers only, and 
reduce our commerce to the measure of our own 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 129 

wants and surplus productions, it will be a benefit 
in the end. But how to effect this, and give time 
to real capital, and the holders of real property, to 
back out of their entanglements by degrees requires 
more knolege of Political economy than we possess. 
I believe it might be done, but I despair of it s being 
done. The eyes of our citizens are not yet suffi 
ciently open to the true cause of our distresses. They 
ascribe them to every thing but their true cause, the 
banking system; a system, which, if it could do good 
in any form, is yet so certain of leading to abuse, as 
to be utterly incompatible with the public safety and 
prosperity. At present all is confusion, uncertainty 
and panic. 

I avail myself of your kindness to put under the 
protection of your cover a letter to St. John Philip- 
part, who requested it might be sent through your 
channel, and I salute you with affectionate esteem 
and respect. 


MONTICELLO June 27. 19. 

DEAR SIR, My letters of Jan. 5 and Nov. 10. of 
the last year had informed you generally that Genl. 
Kosciuzko had left a considerable sum of money in 
the hands of the US. and had, by a will deposited in 
my hands, disposed of it to a charitable purpose : & 
I asked the favor of your opinion in what court the 
will should be proved. According to that opinion, 
expressed in your favor of Dec. 28 I proved the will 
in our district court, renouncing the executorship. 

130 The Writings of [1819 

The purport of the will is that the whole funds in 
this country shall be laid out in the purchase of 
young negroes, in their education & their emancipa 
tion. I had formerly intended to get an admr ap 
pointed here with the will annexed, and to have the 
trust placed entirely under the direction of the court, 
but circumstances since occurring change my view 
of the case. Genl. Armstrong, on behalf of his son 
Kosciuzko Armstrong has a claim to 3704. D. which 
is well founded. A Mr. Zoeltner of Solense the friend 
in whose house Kosciuzko lived and died, claims the 
share under a will deposited with him. This I am 
persuaded will appear not to reach the property here. 
A relation of the General s has lately, through the 
minister of Russia, Mr. Poletika, claimed the whole 
also in right of his relationship. These claimants 
being all foreigners, or of another state, have a right 
to place the litigation in a federal court ; and I have 
supposed the most convenient one to them would be 
the district court of Columbia, and my wish is to 
transfer it there, if that court will take cognisance 
and charge of it. I suppose they would name an 
Admr with the will annexed, and that he would re 
quire the claimant to interplead, that the court might 
decide the right. I wish therefore in the first 
place to constitute you general Counsel for the trust. 
You would draw your compensation of course from 
the funds of the testator, and that you would advise 
me in what form I must apply to the court to effect 
the transfer. I suppose by a petition to them in 
Chancery, delivering to them the will, and the orig 
inal certificates, which are in my hands, and amount 

* 8l 9] Thomas Jefferson 131 

to 17,159.63 D. and praying to be entirely relieved 
and discharged from all further concern or responsi 
bility. Mr. Barnes, who has been the agent in fact, 
will settle his account of transactions during the life 
of the General. I have none to settle, having never 
acted but thro Mr. Barnes, and not meaning to 
charge little incidental disbursements incurred. Will 
you undertake this, my dear Sir, and inform me how 
I am to proceed? I shall be at Poplar Forest near 
Lynchburg before you receive this, and shall be there 
3. months. But your answer will reach me there, 
and I mention it only to explain before hand the 
greater delays in the correspondence which the 
greater distance of that place may occasion. In 
the hope therefore of hearing from you as soon as 
convenient, and of your aid in getting relief from 
this charge, now become too litigious for me, I salute 
you with constant friendship and respect. 


MONTICELLO, July Q, l8lQ. 

DEAR SIR, I am in debt to you for your letters of 
May the 2ist, 27th, and June the 22d. The first, 
delivered me by Mr. Greenwood, gave me the grati 
fication of his acquaintance; and a gratification it 
always is, to be made acquainted with gentlemen of 
candor, worth, and information, as I found Mr. 
Greenwood to be. That, on the subject of Mr. 
Samuel Adams Wells, shall not be forgotten in time 
and place, when it can be used to his advantage. 

But what has attracted my peculiar notice, is the 

132 The Writings of [1819 

paper from Mecklenburg county, of North Carolina, 
published in the Essex Register, which you were so 
kind as to enclose in your last, of June the 2 2d. And 
you seem to think it genuine. I believe it spurious. 
I deem it to be a very unjustifiable quiz, like that of 
the volcano, so minutely related to us as having 
broken out in North Carolina, some half a dozen 
years ago, in that part of the country, and perhaps 
in that very county of Mecklenburg, for I do not 
remember its precise locality. If this paper be really 
taken from the Raleigh Register, as quoted, I wonder 
it should have escaped Ritchie, who culls what is 
good from every paper, as the bee from every flower; 
and the National Intelligencer, too, which is edited 
by a North Carolinian; and that the fire should 
blaze out all at once in Essex, one thousand miles 
from where the spark is said to have fallen. But if 
really taken from the Raleigh Register, who is the 
narrator, and is the name subscribed real, or is it as 
fictitious as the paper itself? It appeals, too, to an 
original book, which is burnt, to Mr. Alexander, who 
is dead, to a joint letter from Caswell, Hughes, and 
Hooper, all dead, to a copy sent to the dead Caswell, 
and another sent to Doctor Williamson, now prob 
ably dead, whose memory did not recollect, in the 
history he has written of North Carolina, this gi 
gantic step of its county of Mecklenburg. Horry, 
too, is silent in his history of Marion, whose scene of 
action was the country bordering on Mecklenburg- 
Ramsay, Marshall, Jones, Girardin, Wirt, historians 
of the adjacent States, all silent. When Mr. Henry s 
resolutions, far short of independence, flew like 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 133 

lightning through every paper, and kindled both 
sides of the Atlantic, this flaming declaration of the 
same date, of the independence of Mecklenburg 
county, of North Carolina, absolving it from the 
British allegiance, and abjuring all political connec 
tion with that nation, although sent to Congress 
too, is never heard of. It is not known even a 
twelvemonth after, when a similar proposition is 
first made in that body. Armed with this bold ex 
ample, would not you have addressed our timid 
brethren in peals of thunder on their tardy fears? 
Would not every advocate of independence have 
rung the glories of Mecklenburg county in North 
Carolina, in the ears of the doubting Dickinson and 
others, who hung so heavily on us? Yet the exam 
ple of independent Mecklenburg county, in North 
Carolina, was never once quoted. The paper speaks, 
too, of the continued exertions of their delegation 
(Caswell, Hooper, Hughes) in the cause of liberty 
and independence/ Now you remember as well as 
I do, that we had not a greater tory in Congress than 
Hooper; that Hughes was very wavering, some 
times firm, sometimes feeble, according as the day 
was clear or cloudy; that Caswell, indeed, was a 
good whig, and kept these gentlemen to the notch, 
while he was present; but that he left us soon, and 
their line of conduct became then uncertain until 
Penn came, who fixed Hughes and the vote of the 
State. I must not be understood as suggesting any 
doubtfulness in the State of North Carolina. No 
State was more fixed or forward. Nor do I affirm, 
positively, that this paper is a fabrication; because 

134 The Writings of [1819 

the proof of a negative can only be presumptive. 
But I shall believe it such until positive and solemn 
proof of its authenticity be produced. And if the 
name of McKnitt be real, and not a part of the fabri 
cation, it needs a vindication by the production of 
such proof. For the present, I must be an un 
believer in the apocryphal gospel. 

I am glad to learn that Mr. Ticknor has safely re 
turned to his friends; but should have been much 
more pleased had he accepted the Professorship in 
our University, which we should have offered him 
in form. Mr. Bowditch, too, refuses us; so fascinat 
ing is the vinculum of the duke natale solum. Our 
wish is to procure natives, where they can be found, 
like these gentlemen, of the first order of requirement 
in their respective lines ; but preferring foreigners of 
the first order to natives of the second, we shall cer 
tainly have to go for several of our Professors, to 
countries more advanced in science than we are. 

I set out within three or four days for my other 
home, the distance of which, and its cross mails, are 
great impediments to epistolary communications. I 
shall remain there about two months; and there, 
here, and everywhere, I am and shall always be, 
affectionately and respectfully yours. 



SIR, I inclose you a renewal of the two notes of 
10,000 D. each for which I am by endorsement re 
sponsible to the US. bank, for Colo. W. C. Nicholas. 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 135 

I do this on his information that it will be received 
as sufficient for 60 days within which term I will 
execute a bond jointly with him for the amount of 
these notes, with a third person made acceptable to 
the bank. In seeking for a 3d name my reluctance 
at placing any friend in the state of uneasiness in 
which this responsibility would place him, is in 
superable. I greatly prefer therefore what I am 
told will be acceptable to the bank, to make a 3d 
name competent by a conveyance of real property 
abundantly sufficient to cover the debt. My grand 
son Thos J. Randolph is the person whom I should 
chuse with the least scruple in this business and I 
will accordingly convey lands amply sufficient for 
this debt, to him in trust for it s payment, & as a 
special security to the bank, applicable to no other 
purpose; while this makes him sufficient as a se 
curity, all the rest of my property is responsible for 
the same debt, on the ground of my being separately 
bound. That it is sufficient for many times this 
amount is probably known, and I assure you on my 
honor that not a dollar s worth of it is under incum- 
brance to any mortal or for any purpose. You shall 
receive the bond and a copy of the deed immediately 
after my return to Monticello, which will be within 
3. or 4. weeks. Accept the assurance of my great 
respect and esteem. 


POPLAR FOREST, September 6, 1819. 

DEAR SIR, I had read in the Enquirer, and with 
great approbation, the pieces signed Hampden, and 

136 The Writings of [1819 

have read them again with redoubled approbation, 
in the copies you have been so kind as to send me. 
I subscribe to every tittle of them. They contain 
the true principles of the revolution of 1800, for that 
was as real a revolution in the principles of our gov 
ernment as that of 1 776 was in its form ; not effected 
indeed by the sword, as that, but by the rational and 
peaceable instrument of reform, the suffrage of the 
people. The nation declared its will by dismissing 
functionaries of one principle, and electing those of 
another, in the two branches, executive and legis 
lative, submitted to their election. Over the judi 
ciary department, the constitution had deprived 
them of their control. That, therefore, has con 
tinued the reprobated system, and although new 
matter has been occasionally incorporated into the 
old, yet the leaven of the old mass seems to assimi 
late to itself the new, and after twenty years con 
firmation of the federal system by the voice of the 
nation, declared through the medium of elections, 
we find the judiciary on every occasion, still driving 
us into consolidation. 

In denying the right they usurp of exclusively 
explaining the constitution, I go further than you 
do, if I understand rightly your quotation from the 
Federalist, of an opinion that "the judiciary is the 
last resort in relation to the other departments of 
the government, but not in relation to the rights of 
the parties to the compact under which the judiciary 
is derived." If this opinion be sound, then indeed is 
our constitution a complete felo de se. For intend 
ing to establish three departments, co-ordinate and 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 137 

independent, that they might check and balance one 
another, it has given, according to this opinion, to 
one of them alone, the right to prescribe rules for 
the government of the others, and to that one too, 
which is unelected by, and independent of the na 
tion. For experience has already shown that the 
impeachment it has provided is not even a scare 
crow; that such opinions as the one you combat, 
sent cautiously out, as you observe also, by detach 
ment, not belonging to the case often, but sought 
for out of it, as if to rally the public opinion before 
hand to their views, and to indicate the line they are 
to walk in, have been so quietly passed over as never 
to have excited animadversion, even in a speech of 
any one of the body entrusted with impeachment. 
The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing 
of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may 
twist, and shape into any form they please. It 
should be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth 
in politics, that whatever power in any government 
is independent, is absolute also; in theory only, at 
first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in 
practice, as fast as that relaxes. Independence can 
be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. 
They are inherently independent of all but moral 
law. My construction of the constitution is very 
different from that you quote. It is that each de 
partment is truly independent of the others, and has 
an equal right to decide for itself what is the mean 
ing of the constitution in the cases submitted to its 
action; and especially, where it is to act ultimate 
ly and without appeal. I will explain myself by 

138 The Writings of [1819 

examples, which, having occurred while I was in office, 
are better known to me, and the principles which 
governed them. 

A legislature had passed the sedition law. The 
federal courts had subjected certain individuals to 
its penalties of fine and imprisonment. On coming 
into office, I released these individuals by the power 
of pardon committed to executive discretion, which 
could never be more properly exercised than where 
citizens were suffering without the authority of law, 
or, which was equivalent, under a law unauthorized 
by the constitution, and therefore null. In the case 
of Marbury and Madison, the federal judges declared 
that commissions, signed and sealed by the Presi 
dent, were valid, although not delivered. I deemed 
delivery essential to complete a deed, which, as long 
as it remains in the hands of the party, is as yet no 
deed, it is in posse only, but not in esse, and I with 
held delivery of the commissions. They cannot is 
sue a mandamus to the President or legislature, or 
to any of their officers. 1 When the British treaty 
of - - arrived, without any provision against the 
impressment of our seamen, I determined not to 
ratify it. The Senate thought I should ask their 
advice. I thought that would be a mockery of 
them, when I was predetermined against following 
it, should they advise its ratification. The constitu 
tion had made their advice necessary to confirm a 
treaty, but not to reject it. This has been blamed 
by some; but I have never doubted its soundness. 

1 The constitution controlling the common law in this particular, 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 139 

In the cases of two persons, antenati, under exactly 
similar circumstances, the federal court had deter 
mined that one of them (Duane) was not a citizen; 
the House of Representatives nevertheless deter 
mined that the other (Smith, of South Carolina) 
was a citizen, and admitted him to his seat in their 
body. Duane was a republican, and Smith a feder 
alist, and these decisions were made during the 
federal ascendancy. 

These are examples of my position, that each of 
the three departments has equally the right to de 
cide for itself what is its duty under the constitution, 
without any regard to what the others may have de 
cided for themselves under a similar question. But 
you intimate a wish that my opinion should be 
known on this subject. No, dear Sir, I withdraw 
from all contests of opinion, and resign everything 
cheerfully to the generation now in place. They 
are wiser than we were, and their successors will be 
wiser than they, from the progressive advance of 
science. Tranquillity is the summum bonum of age. 
I wish, therefore, to offend no man s opinion, nor to 
draw disquieting animadversions on my own. While 
duty required it, I met opposition with a firm and 
fearless step. But loving mankind in my individual 
relations with them, I pray to be permitted to depart 
in their peace; and like the superannuated soldier, 
" quadragenis stipendiis enteritis" to hang my arms 
on the post. I have unwisely, I fear, embarked in 
an enterprise of great public concern, but not to be 
accomplished within my term, without their liberal 
and prompt support. A severe illness the last year, 

140 The Writings of [1819 

and another from which I am just emerged, admon 
ish me that repetitions may be expected, against 
which a declining frame cannot long bear up. I am 
anxious, therefore, to get our University so far ad 
vanced as may encourage the public to persevere to 
its final accomplishment. That secured, I shall sing 
my nunc demittas. I hope your labors will be long 
continued in the spirit in which they have always 
been exercised, in maintenance of those principles on 
which I verily believe the future happiness of our 
country essentially depends. I salute you with 
affectionate and great respect. 


MONTICELLO, October 31, 1819. 

DEAR SIR, Your favor of the 2ist is received. 
My late illness, in which you are so kind as to feel an 
interest, was produced by a spasmodic stricture of 
the ilium, which came upon me on the yth inst. The 
crisis was short, passed over favorably on the fourth 
day, and I should soon have been well but that a 
dose of calomel and jalap, in which were only eight 
or nine grains of the former, brought on a salivation. 
Of this, however, nothing now remains but a little 
soreness of the mouth. I have been able to get on 
horseback for three or four days past. 

As you say of yourself, I too am an Epicurian. I 
consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of 
Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral 
philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us. 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 141 

Epictetus indeed, has given us what was good of the 
stoics ; all beyond, of their dogmas, being hypocrisy 
and grimace. Their great crime was in their cal 
umnies of Epicurus and misrepresentations of his 
doctrines ; in which we lament to see the candid char 
acter of Cicero engaging as an accomplice. Diffuse, 
vapid, rhetorical, but enchanting. His prototype 
Plato, eloquent as himself, dealing out mysticisms 
incomprehensible to the human mind, has been 
deified by certain sects usurping the name of Christ 
ians; because, in his foggy conceptions, they found 
a basis of impenetrable darkness whereon to rear 
fabrications as delirious, of their own invention. 
These they fathered blasphemously on him whom 
they claimed as their founder, but who would dis 
claim them with the indignation which their carica 
tures of his religion so justly excite. Of Socrates we 
have nothing genuine but in the Memorabilia of 
Xenophon; for Plato makes him one of his Col 
locutors merely to cover his own whimsies under the 
mantle of his name; a liberty of which we are told 
Socrates himself complained. Seneca is indeed a 
fine moralist, disfiguring his work at times with 
some Stoicisms, and affecting too much of antithesis 
and point, yet giving us on the whole a great deal of 
sound and practical morality. But the greatest of 
all the reformers of the depraved religion of his own 
country, was Jesus of Nazareth. Abstracting what 
is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, 
easily distinguished by its lustre from the dross of 
his biographers, and as separable from that as the 
diamond from the dunghill, we have the outlines of 

142 The Writings of I> 8l 9 

a system of the most sublime morality which has 
ever fallen from the lips of man ; outlines which it is 
lamentable he did not live to fill up. Epictetus and 
Epicurus give laws for governing ourselves, Jesus 
a supplement of the duties and charities we owe 
to others. The establishment of the innocent and 
genuine character of this benevolent moralist, and 
the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, 
which has resulted from artificial systems, 1 invented 
by ultra-Christian sects, unauthorized by a single 
word ever uttered by him, is a most desirable object, 
and one to which Priestley has successfully devoted 
his labors and learning. It would in time, it is to be 
hoped, effect a quiet euthanasia of the heresies of 
bigotry and fanaticism which have so long triumphed 
over human reason, and so generally and deeply 
afflicted mankind ; but this work is to be begun by 
winnowing the grain from the chaff of the historians 
of his life. I have sometimes thought of translating 
Epictetus (for he has never been tolerable translated 
into English) by adding the genuine doctrines of 
Epicurus from the Syntagma of Gassendi, and an 
abstract from the Evangelists of whatever has the 
stamp of the eloquence and fine imagination of Jesus. 
The last I attempted too hastily some twelve or 
fifteen years ago. It was the work of two or three 
nights only, at Washington, after getting through 
the evening task of reading the letters and papers of 

1 e. g. The immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the 
creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection 
and visible ascension, his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the 
Trinity; original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of 
Hierarchy, &c. T. J. 

1 819] Thomas Jefferson 143 

the day. But with one foot in the grave, these are 
now idle projects for me. My business is to beguile 
the wearisomeness of declining life, as I endeavor to 
do, by the delights of classical reading and of mathe 
matical truths, and by the consolations of a sound 
philosophy, equally indifferent to hope and fear. 

I take the liberty of observing that you are not a 
true disciple of our master Epicurus, in indulging 
the indolence to which you say you are yielding. 
One of his canons, you know, was that "the indul 
gence which prevents a greater pleasure, or produces 
a greater pain, is to be avoided." Your love of re 
pose will lead, in its progress, to a suspension of 
healthy exercise, a relaxation of mind, an indifference 
to everything around you, and finally to a debility 
of body, and hebetude of mind, the farthest of all 
things from the happiness which the well-regulated 
indulgences of Epicurus ensure; fortitude, you know, 
is one of his four cardinal virtues. That teaches us 
to meet and surmount difficulties; not to fly from 
them, like cowards; and to fly, too, in vain, for they 
will meet and arrest us at every turn of our road. 
Weigh this matter well; brace yourself up; take a 
seat with Correa, and come and see the finest portion 
of your country, which, if you have not forgotten, 
you still do not know, because it is no longer the 
same as when you knew it. It will add much to the 
happiness of my recovery to be able to receive 
Correa and yourself, and prove the estimation in 
which I hold you both. Come, too, and see our in 
cipient University, which has advanced with great 
activity this year. By the end of the next, we shall 

144 The Writings of [1819 

have elegant accommodations for seven professors, 
and the year following the professors themselves. 
No secondary character will be received among them. 
Either the ablest which America or Europe can fur 
nish, or none at all. They will give us the selected 
society of a great city separated from the dissipa 
tions and levities of its ephemeral insects. 

I am glad the bust of Condorcet has been saved 
and so well placed. His genius should be before us ; 
while the lamentable, but singular act of ingratitude 
which tarnished his latter days, may be thrown 
behind us. 

I will place under this a syllabus of the doctrines 
of Epicurus, 1 somewhat in the lapidary style, which 
I wrote some twenty years ago, a like one of the phi 
losophy of Jesus, of nearly the same age, is too long 
to be copied. Vale, et tibi persuade carissimum te 
esse mihi. 


MONTICELLO, November 7, 1819. 

DEAR SIR, Three long and dangerous illnesses 
within the last twelve months, must apologize for 
my long silence towards you. 

The paper bubble is then burst. This is what 
you and I, and every reasoning man, seduced by no 

1 Syllabus of the doctrines of Epicurus. 
Physical. The Universe eternal. 
Its parts, great and small, interchangeable. 
Matter and Void alone. 

Motion inherent in matter which is weighty and declining. 
Eternal circulation of the elements of bodies. 
Gods, an order of beings next superior to man, enjoying in their 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 145 

obliquity of mind or interest, have long foreseen ; yet 
its disastrous effects are not the less for having been 
foreseen. We were laboring under a dropsical ful 
ness of circulating medium. Nearly all of it is now 
called in by the banks, who have the regulation of 
the safety-valves of our fortunes, and who condense 
and explode them at their will. Lands in this State 
cannot now be sold for a year s rent; and unless our 
Legislature have wisdom enough to effect a remedy 
by a gradual diminution only of the medium, there 
will be a general revolution of property in this state. 
Over our own paper and that of other States coming 
among us, they have competent powers; over that 
of the bank of the United States there is doubt, not 
here, but elsewhere. That bank will probably con 
form voluntarily to such regulations as the Legisla 
ture may prescribe for the others. If they do not, 

sphere, their own felicities; but not meddling with the concerns of the 
scale of beings below them. 

Moral. Happiness the aim of life. 

Virtue the foundation of happiness. 

Utility the test of virtue. 

Pleasure active and In-do-lent. 

In-do-lence is the absence of pain, the true felicity. 

Active, consists in agreeable motion; it is not happiness, but the 
means to produce it. 

Thus the absence of hunger is an article of felicity; eating the 
means to obtain it. 

The summum bonum is to be not pained in body, nor troubled in 

i. e. In-do-lence of body, tranquillity of mind. 

To procure tranquillity of mind we must avoid desire and fear, the 
two principal diseases of the mind. 

Man is a free agent. 

Virtue consists in i. Prudence. 2. Temperance. 3. Fortitude. 
4. Justice. 

To which are opposed, i. Folly. 2. Desire. 3. Fear. 4. Deceit. 

VOL. xn. 10. 

146 The Writings of 

we must shut their doors, and join the other States 
which deny the right of Congress to establish banks, 
and solicit them to agree to some mode of settling 
this constitutional question. They have them 
selves twice decided against their right, and twice 
for it. Many of the States have been uniform in 
denying it, and between such parties the Constitu 
tion has provided no umpire. I do not know par 
ticularly the extent of this distress in the other 
States; but southwardly and westwardly I believe 
all are involved in it. God bless you, and preserve 
you many years. 


MONTICELLO, November 10, 1819. 

SIR, Your letter, and the draught of a memorial 
proposed to be presented to the Legislature, are duly 
received. With respect to impressions from any 
differences of political opinion, whether major or 
minor, alluded to in your letter, I have none. I 
left them all behind me on quitting Washington, 
where alone the state of things had, till then, re 
quired some attention to them. Nor was that the 
lightest part of the load I was there disburthened of ; 
and could I permit myself to believe that with the 
change of circumstances a corresponding change had 
taken place in the minds of those who differed from 
me, and that I now stand in the peace and good will 
of my fellow-citizens generally, it would indeed be 
a sweetening ingredient in the last dregs of my life. 
It is not then from that source that my testimony 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 147 

may be scanty, but from a decaying memory, illy 
retaining things of recent transaction, and scarcely 
with any distinctness those of forty years back, the 
period to which your memorial refers: general im 
pressions of them remain, but details are mostly 

Of the transfer of your corps from the general to 
the State line, and the other facts in the memorial 
preceding my entrance on the administration of 
the State government, June 2, 1779, I, of course, 
have no knowledge; but public documents, as well 
as living witnesses, will probably supply this. In 
1780, I remember your appointment to a command 
in the militia sent under General Stevens to the aid 
of the Carolinas, of which fact the commission signed 
by myself is sufficient proof. But I have no par 
ticular recollections which respect yourself personally 
in that service. Of what took place during Arnold s 
invasion in the subsequent winter I have more 
knowledge, because so much passed under my own 
eye, and I have the benefit of some notes to aid my 
memory. In the short interval of fifty-seven hours 
between our knowing they had entered James river 
and their actual debarkation at Westover, we could 
get together but a small body of militia, (my notes 
say of three hundred men only,) chiefly from the 
city and its immediate vicinities. You were placed 
in the command of these, and ordered to proceed to 
the neighborhood of the enemy, not with any view 
to face them directly with so small a force, but to 
hang on their skirts, and to check their march as much 
as could be done, to give time for the more distant 

148 The Writings of [1819 

militia to assemble. The enemy were not to be 
delayed, however, and were in Richmond in twenty- 
four hours from their being formed on shore at 
Westover. The day before their arrival at Rich 
mond, I had sent my family to Tuckahoe, as the 
memorial states, at which place I joined them 
about i o clock of that night, having attended late 
at Westham, to have the public stores and papers 
thrown across the river. You came up to us at 
Tuckahoe the next morning, and accompanied me, 
I think, to Britton s opposite Westham, to see 
about the further safety of the arms and other 
property. Whether you stayed there to look after 
them, or went with me to the heights of Manchester, 
and returned thence to Britton s, I do not recollect. 
The enemy evacuated Richmond at noon on the 5th 
of January, having remained there but twenty -three 
hours. I returned to it in the morning of the 8th, 
they being still encamped at Westover and Berkley, 
and yourself and corps at the Forest. They re- 
embarked at i o clock of the loth. The particulars 
of your movements down the river, to oppose their 
re-landing at different points, I do not specifically 
recollect, but, as stated in the memorial, they are so 
much in agreement with my general impressions, 
that I have no doubt of their correctness, and I know 
that your conduct from the first advance of the 
enemy to his departure, was approved by myself 
and by others generally. The rendezvous of the 
militia at the Tuckahoe bridge, and your having 
the command of them, I think I also remember, 
but nothing of their subsequent movements. The 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 149 

legislature had adjourned to meet at Charlottes- 
ville, where, at the expiration of my second year, I 
declined a re-election in the belief that a military 
man would be more likely to render services ade 
quate to the exigencies of the times. Of the subse 
quent facts, therefore, stated in the memorial, I 
have no knowledge. 

This, Sir, is the sum of the information I am able 
to give on the subjects of your memorial, and if it 
may contribute to the purposes of justice in your 
case, I shall be happy that in bearing testimony to 
the truth, I shall have rendered you a just service. 
I return the memorial and commission, as requested, 
and pray you to accept my respectful salutations. 


MONTICELLO, November 28, 1819. 

DEAR SIR, The distresses of our country, pro 
duced first by the flood, then by the ebb of bank 
paper, are such as cannot fail to engage the interpo 
sition of the legislature. Many propositions will, of 
course, be offered, from all of which something may 
probably be culled to make a good whole. I ex 
plained to you my project, when I had the pleasure 
of possessing you here; and I now send its outline 
in writing, as I believe I promised you. Although 
preferable things will I hope be offered, yet some 
twig of this may perhaps be thought worthy of being 
engrafted on a better stock. But I send it with no 
particular object or request, but to use it as you 

150 The Writings of [1819 

please. Suppress it, suggest it, sound opinions, or 
anything else, at will, only keeping my name un- 
mentioned, for which purpose it is copied in another 
hand, being ever solicitous to avoid all offence which 
is heavily felt, when retired from the bustle and con 
tentions of the world. If we suffer the moral of the 
present lesson to pass away without improvement 
by the eternal suppression of bank paper, then in 
deed is the condition of our country desperate, until 
the slow advance of public instruction shall give to 
our functionaries the wisdom of their station. Vale, 
et tibi persuade carissimum te mihi esse. 1 


MONTI CELLO, December 10, 1819. 

DEAR SIR, I have to acknowledge the receipt 
of your favor of November the 23d. The banks, 

l Plan for reducing the circulating medium. 

The plethory of circulating medium which raised the prices of 
everything to several times their ordinary and standard value, in 
which state of things many and heavy debts were contracted; and 
the sudden withdrawing too great a proportion of that medium, and 
reduction of prices far below that standard, constitutes the disease 
under which we are now laboring, and which must end in a general 
revolution of property, if some remedy is not applied. That remedy 
is clearly a gradual reduction of the medium to its standard level, 
that is to say, to the level which a metallic medium will always find 
for itself, so as to be in equilibro with that of the nations with which 
we have commerce. 

To effect this, 

Let the whole of the present paper medium be suspended in its 
circulation after a certain and not distant day. 

Ascertain by proper inquiry the greatest sum of it which has at any 
one time been in actual circulation. 

Take a certain term of years for its gradual reduction, suppose it to- 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 151 

bankrupt law, manufactures, Spanish treaty, are 
nothing. These are occurrences which, like waves 
in a storm will pass under the ship. But the Mis 
souri question, is a breaker on which we lose the 
Missouri country by revolt, and what more, God 
only knows. From the battle of Bunker s Hill to 
the treaty of Paris, we never had so ominous a 
question. It even damps the joy with which I hear 
of your high health, and welcomes to me the con 
sequences of my want of it. I thank God that I 
shall not live to witness its issue. Sed hcec hactenus. 
I have been amusing myself latterly with reading 
the voluminous letters of Cicero. They certainly 
breathe the purest effusions of an exalted patriot, 
while the parricide Caesar is lost in odious contrast. 

be five years; then let the solvent banks issue f of that amount in 
new notes, to be attested by a public officer, as a security that neither 
more or less is issued, and to be given out in exchange for the sus 
pended notes, and the surplus in discount. 

Let ^th of these notes bear on their face that the bank will dis 
charge them with specie at the end of one year; another 5th at the 
end of two years; a third 5th at the end of three years; and so of 
the 4th and 5th. They will be sure to be brought in at their respective 
periods of redemption. . 

Make it a high offence to receive or pass within this State a note 
of any other. 

There is little doubt that our banks will agree readily to this opera 
tion; if they refuse, declare their charters forfeited by their former 
irregularities, and give summary process against them for the sus 
pended notes. 

The Bank of the United States will probably concur also; if not, 
shut their doors and join the other States in respectful, but firm ap 
plications to Congress, to concur in constituting a tribunal (a special 
convention, e. g.) for settling amicably the question of their right to 
institute a bank, and that also of the States to do the same. 

A stay-law for the suspension of executions, and their discharge at 
five annual instalments, should be accommodated to these measures. 

Interdict forever, to both the State and national governments, the 

152 The Writings of [1819 

When the enthusiasm, however, kindled by Cicero s 
pen and principles, subsides into cool reflection, I 
ask myself, what was that government which the 
virtues of Cicero were so zealous to restore, and the 
ambition of Caesar to subvert? And if Caesar had 
been as virtuous as he was daring and sagacious, 
what could he, even in the plenitude of his usurped 
power, have done to lead his fellow citizens into 
good government? I do not say to restore it, be 
cause they never had it, from the rape of the Sabines 
to the ravages of the Caesars. If their people indeed 
had been, like ourselves, enlightened, peaceable, and 
really free, the answer would be obvious. " Restore 
independence to all your foreign conquests, relieve 
Italy from the government of the rabble of Rome, 

power of establishing any paper bank; for without this interdiction, 
we shall have the same ebbs and flows of medium, and the same 
revolutions of property to go through every twenty or thirty years. 

In this way the value of property, keeping pace nearly with the 
sum of circulating medium, will descend gradually to its proper level, 
at the rate of about ^ every year, the sacrifices of what shall be sold 
for payment of the first instalments of debts will be moderate, and 
time will be given for economy and industry to come in aid of those 
subsequent. Certainly no nation ever before abandoned to the 
avarice and jugglings of private individuals to regulate, according to 
their own interests, the quantum of circulating medium for the nation, 
to inflate, by deluges of paper, the nominal prices of property, and 
then to buy up that property at is. in the pound, having first with 
drawn the floating medium which might endanger a competition in 
purchase. Yet this is what has been done, and will be done, unless 
stayed by the protecting hand of the legislature. The evil has been 
produced by the error of their sanction of this ruinous machinery of 
banks; and justice, wisdom, duty, all require that they should inter 
pose and arrest it before the schemes of plunder and spoliation deso 
late the country. It is believed that Harpies are already hoarding 
their money to commence these scenes on the separation of the legis 
lature; and we know that lands have been already sold under the 
hammer for less than a year s rent. 

1819] Thomas Jefferson 153 

consult it as a nation entitled to self-government, 
and do its will." But steeped in corruption, vice 
and venality, as the whole nation was, (and nobody 
had done more than Caesar to corrupt it,) what could 
even Cicero, Cato, Brutus have done, had it been 
referred to them to establish a good government for 
their country? They had no ideas of government 
themselves, but of their degenerate Senate, nor the 
people of liberty, but of the factious opposition of 
their Tribunes. They had afterwards their Tituses, 
their Trajans and Antoninuses, who had the will to 
make them happy, and the power to mould their 
government into a good and permanent form. But 
it would seem as if they could not see their way 
clearly to do it. No government can continue good, 
but under the control of the people ; and their people 
were so demoralized and depraved, as to be incapable 
of exercising a wholesome control. Their reforma 
tion then was to be taken up ab incunabulis. Their 
minds were to be informed by education what is 
right and what wrong ; to be encouraged in habits of 
virtue, and deterred from those of vice by the dread 
of punishments, proportioned indeed, but irremis- 
sible; in all cases, to follow truth as the only safe 
guide, and to eschew error, which bewilders us in 
one false consequence after another, in endless suc 
cession. These are the inculcations necessary to 
render the people a sure basis for the structure of 
order and good government. But this would have 
been an operation of a generation or two, at least, 
within which period would have succeeded many 
Neros and Commoduses, who would have quashed 

154 The Writings of [1820 

the whole process. I confess then, I can neither see 
what Cicero, Cato, and Brutus, united and uncon 
trolled, could have devised to lead their people into 
good government, nor how this enigma can be solved, 
nor how further shown why it has been the fate of 
that delightful country never to have known, to this 
day, and through a course of five and twenty hundred 
years, the history of which we possess, one single day 
of free and rational government. Your intimacy 
with their history, ancient, middle and modern, 
your familiarity with the improvements in the 
science of government at this time, will enable you, 
if any body, to go back with our principles and 
opinions to the times of Cicero, Cato, and Brutus, 
and tell us by what process these great and virtuous 
men could have led so unenlightened and vitiated a 
people into freedom and good government, et eris 
mihi magnus Apollo. Cura ut valeas, et tibi per- 
suadeas carissimum te mihi esse. 


MONTICELLO, Jan. 22. 20. 

DEAR SIR, I send you the inclosed as an exhibit 
to our enemies as well as friends. Kentucky, our 
daughter, planted since Virginia was a distinguished 
state, has an University, with 14. professors & up 
wards of 200 students. While we, with a fund of a 
million & a half of Dollars ready raised and appro 
priated, are higgling without the heart to let it go 
to it s use. If our legislature does not heartily push 

l82 l Thomas Jefferson 155 

our University, we must send our children for educa 
tion to Kentucky or Cambridge. The latter will 
return them to us fanatics & tories, the former will 
keep them to add to their population. If however 
we are to go a begging anywhere for our educa 
tion, I would rather it should be to Kentucky than 
any other state, because she has more of the flavor 
of the old cask than any other. All the states but 
our own are sensible that knolege is power. The 
Missouri question is for power. The efforts now 
generally making all the states to advance their 
science is for power, while we are sinking into the 
barbarism of our Indian aborigines, and expect like 
them to oppose by ignorance the overwhelming mass 
of light & science by which we shall be surrounded. 
It is a comfort that I am not to live to see this. Our 
exertions in building this last year have amounted 
to the whole of the public annuity of this year, for 
which therefore we have been obliged to draw to re 
lieve the actual distresses of our workmen ; the sub 
scriptions come in slow & grudgingly. You know 
that we are to pay Dr. Cooper 1500 D. in May, and 
his family will depend on it for subsistence in his ab 
sence. We have been obliged therefore to set apart, 
as our only sure dependence, 6. subscriptions on the 
punctuality of which we can depend, to wit, yours, 
Mr. Madison s, Genl Cocke s, Mr. Diges s and John 
Harrison s, & mine, which exactly make up the 
money. Affectly yours. 

156 The Writings of [1820 


MONTICELLO Feb. 6. 20. 

DEAR SIR, Continual ill health for 18. months 
past had nearly ended the business of letter-writing 
with me. I cannot however but make an effort to 
thank you for your vindicia Americana against Gr. 
Britain. The malevolence and impertinence of her 
critics & writers really called for the rod, and I re 
joiced when I heard it was in hands so able to wield 
it with strength and correctness. Your work will 
furnish the ist volume of every future American his 
tory; the Ante-revolutionary part especially. The 
latter part will silence the libellists of the day, who 
finding refutation impossible, and that men in glass 
houses should not provoke a war of stones, will be 
glad of a truce, to hush and be done with it. I wish 
that, being placed on the vantage ground by these 
researches and expositions of facts, our own citizens 
and our antagonists would now bury the hatchet 
and join in a mutual amnesty. No two nations on 
earth can be so helpful to each other as friends, nor 
so hurtful as enemies. And, in spite of their in 
solence I have ever wished for an honorable and 
cordial amity with them as a nation. I think the 
looking glass you have held up to them will now so 
compleatly humble their pride as to dispose them 
also to wish and court it. 

Here I must lay down my pen with affectionate 
salutations to you, and on whichever side of the 
Styx I may be, with cordial wishes for your health, 
prosperity and happiness. 

1 8 20] Thomas Jefferson 157 


MONTICELLO Feb. 7. 20. 

DEAR SIR, * * * I thank you for your in 
formation on the progress & prospects of the Missouri 
question. It is the most portentous one which ever 
yet threatened our Union. In the gloomiest mo 
ment of the revolutionary war I never had any ap 
prehensions equal to what I feel from this source. 

I observe you are loaded with petitions from the 
Manufacturing commercial & agricultural interests, 
each praying you to sacrifice the others to them. 
This proves the egotism of the whole and happily 
balances their cannibal appetites to eat one another. 
The most perfect confidence in the wisdom of Con 
gress leaves me without a fear of the result. I do 
not know whether it is any part of the petitions of 
the farmers that our citizens shall be restrained to 
eat nothing but bread, because that can be made 
here. But this is the common spirit of all their 
petitions. My ill-health has obliged me to retire 
from all public concerns. I scarcely read a news 
paper. I cannot therefore tell you what is a doing 
in the state, but this you will get fully from others. 
I will therefore add only the assurances of my great 
& friendly esteem and respect. 1 

1 Jefferson further wrote to Nelson: 

" MONTICELLO, March 12, 1820 

" I thank you, dear Sir, for the information in your favor of the 4th 
instant, of the settlement, for the present, of the Missouri question. I 
am so completely withdrawn from all attention to public matters, 
that nothing less could arouse me than the definition of a geographical 
line, which on an abstract principle is to become the line of separation 
of these States, and to render desperate the hope that man can ever 
enjoy the two blessings of peace and self-government. The question 

158 The Writings of [1820 


MONTICELLO, April 22, 1820. 

I thank you, dear Sir, for the copy you have been 
so kind as to send me of the letter to your constitu 
ents on the Missouri question. It is a perfect justi 
fication to them. I had for a long time ceased to 
read newspapers, or pay any attention to public 
affairs, confident they were in good hands, and con 
tent to be a passenger in our bark to the shore from 
which I am not distant. But this momentous ques 
tion, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled 
me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell 
of the Union. It is hushed, indeed, for the moment. 
But this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. A 
geographical line, coinciding with a marked prin 
ciple, moral and political, once conceived and held 
up to the angry passions of men, will never be ob 
literated; and every new irritation will mark it 
deeper and deeper. I can say, with conscious truth, 

sleeps for the present, but is not dead. This State is in a condition of 
unparalleled distress. The sudden reduction of the circulating medium 
from a plethory to all but annihilation is producing an entire revolu 
tion of fortune. In other places I have known lands sold by the 
sheriff for one year s rent ; beyond the mountain we hear of good 
slaves selling for one hundred dollars, good horses for five dollars, 
and the sheriffs generally the purchasers. Our produce is now selling 
at market for one-third of its price, before this commercial catastrophe, 
say flour at three and a quarter and three and a half dollars the 
barrel. We should have less right to expect relief from our legislators 
if they had been the establishes of the unwise system of banks. A 
remedy to a certain degree was practicable, that of of reducing the 
quantum of circulation gradually to a level with that of the countries 
with which we have commerce, and an eternal abjuration of paper. 
But they have adjourned without doing anything. I fear local in 
surrections against these horrible sacrifices of property. In every 
condition of trouble or tranquillity be assured of my constant esteem 
and respect." 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 159 

that there is not a man on earth who would sacrifice 
more than I would to relieve us from this heavy re 
proach, in any practicable way. The cession of that 
kind of property, for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle 
which would not cost me a second thought, if, in that 
way, a general emancipation and expatriation could 
be effected; and gradually, and with due sacrifices, 
I think it might be. But as it is, we have the wolf 
by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely 
let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preserva 
tion in the other. Of one thing I am certain, that as 
the passage of slaves from one State to another, 
would not make a slave of a single human being who 
would not be so without it, so their diffusion over a 
greater surface would make them individually hap 
pier, and proportionally facilitate the accomplish 
ment of their emancipation, by dividing the burthen 
on a greater number of coadjutors. An abstinence 
too, from this act of power, would remove the jealousy 
excited by the undertaking of Congress to regulate 
the condition of the different descriptions of men 
composing a State. This certainly is the exclusive 
right of every State, which nothing in the constitu 
tion has taken from them and given to the General 
Government. Could Congress, for example, say, that 
the non -freemen of Connecticut shall be freemen, or 
that they shall not emigrate into any other State ? 

I regret that I am now to die in the belief, that the 
useless sacrifice of themselves by the generation of 
1776, to acquire self-government and happiness to 
their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise 
and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my 

160 The Writings of 

only consolation is to be, that I five not to weep 
over it. If they would but dispassionately weigh 
the blessings they wifl throw away, against an ab 
stract principle more likely to be effected by union 
than by scission, they would pause before they would 
perpetrate this act of suicide on themselves, and of 
treason against die hopes of the world. To your- 
self .-.s :/.v f.u:h:\il :,r.v;c^:c : :".-. V:u :. 1 :rr..ier 
th: c :: -5 es:ee:: ::. 


VrxrrirzL^c. May 14. iS.r 

:ur :V ::" :he :i is receive::. 
lways -^rith welcome. These texts of truth relieve 
e fr The :.j.rlng f^lsAoods of the public papers. 

Our assent to it has 
, ily :err.:.s " : E 

; :y :: :he:r 

placed tiiem in the 

, and that is well; but 

r :he rl:hes: Stite 

:er:::r. I: .err 

_ _-.-.."_" " -". ir. its r.zrtr. =: 

tr :r_ e^rth rlzrli^ n:re-:ver. is :urs. 

considfirs it such a right. 
ti<Hi in time of peace, 
mrr. :::ihes i: : -.ITS "ithrut 
.e .1 i v.seiv-e:-.:.- : 

- : -"- Thomas Jefferson 161 

of Russia and France , as well as the change of gov 
ernment hi Spam, now ensured, require a further 
and respectful forbearance. While their request 
will rebut the plea of prescriptive possession, it wiH 
give us a right to their approbation when taken in 
the maturity of circumstances. I really think, too, 
that neither the state of our finances, the condition 

- -- -:. - .:.- . ir-i:n. MT^S u 

precipitation into war. The treaty has had the 
valuable effect of strengthening our title to the 
Techas, because the cession of the Floridas in ex 
change for Techas imports an acknowledgement of 
our right to it. This province moreover, the 
r .-.r. "..:.,. : -..r. 1 ; -" -":" - -" : ~" -- ; - - - - - 
:: tr.eir in ietien iencs : mea ure tc 

which their new government win probably accede 
voluntarily. But why should I be saying all this 
to vou, whose T:. ~ 

affair have had possession for years ? I shall rejoice 
to see you here; and were I to Hve to see you here 
finally, it would be a day of jubilee. But our days 
are all numbered, and mine are not many. God 
bless you and preserve you muchos anos. 


!"" --ILL ~ ~ 

I thank you, Sir, for the copy of your 
which you have been so kind as to send 
should have acknowledged it sooner but 
just returned home after a long absent 

1 62 The Writings of [1820 

not yet had time to read it seriously, but in looking 
over it cursorily I see much in it to approve, and 
shall be glad if it shall lead our youth to the practice 
of thinking on such subjects and for themselves. 
That it will have this tendency may be expected, 
and for that reason I feel an urgency to note what 
I deem an error in it, the more requiring notice as 
your opinion is strengthened by that of many others. 
^You seem, in pages 84 and 148, to consider the 
judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional 
questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and 
one which would place us under the despotism of 
an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other 
men, and not more so. They have, with others, the 
same passions for party, for power, and the privilege 
of their corps. Their maxim is li boni judicis est 
ampliare jurisdictionem" and their power the more 
dangerous as they are in office for life, and not re 
sponsible, as the other functionaries are, to the 
elective control. The constitution has erected no 
such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands 
confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its 
members would become despots. It has more 
wisely made all the departments co-equal and co- 
sovereign within themselves. If the legislature fails 
to pass laws for a census, for paying the judges and 
other officers of government, for establishing a 
militia, for naturalization as prescribed by the con 
stitution, or if they fail to meet in congress, the 
judges cannot issue their mandamus to them ; if the 
President fails to supply the place of a judge, to ap 
point other civil or military officers, to issue requisite 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 163 

commissions, the judges cannot force him. They 
can issue their mandamus or distringas to no execu 
tive or legislative officer to enforce the fulfilment of 
their official duties, any more than the president or 
legislature may issue orders to the judges or their 
officers. Betrayed by English example, and un 
aware, as it should seem, of the control of our con 
stitution in this particular, they have at times 
overstepped their limit by undertaking to command 
executive officers in the discharge of their executive 
duties; but the constitution, in keeping three de 
partments distinct and independent, restrains the 
authority of the judges to judiciary organs, as it 
does the executive and legislative to executive and 
legislative organs. The judges certainly have more 
frequent occasion to act on constitutional questions, 
because the laws of meum and tuum and of criminal 
action, forming the great mass of the system of law, 
constitute their particular department. When the 
legislative or executive functionaries act unconstitu 
tionally, they are responsible to the people in their 
elective capacity. The exemption of the judges 
from that is quite dangerous enough. I know no 
safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society 
but the people themselves ; and if we think them not 
enlightened enough to exercise their control with a 
wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it 
from them, but to inform their discretion by edu 
cation. This is the true corrective of abuses of 
constitutional power. Pardon me, Sir, for this differ 
ence of opinion. My personal interest in such ques 
tions is entirely extinct, but not my wishes for the 

1 64 The Writings of [1820 

longest possible continuance of our government on 
its pure principles; if the three powers maintain 
their mutual independence on each other it may last 
long, but not so if either can assume the authorities 
of the other. I ask your candid re-consideration of 
this subject, and am sufficiently sure you will form a 
candid conclusion. Accept the assurance of my 
great respect. 


MONTICELLO, September 30, 1820. 

DEAR SIR, An absence of some time from home 
has occasioned me to be thus late in acknowledging 
the receipt of your favor of the 6th, and I see in it 
with pleasure evidences of your continued health 
and application to business. It is now, I believe, 
about twenty years since I had the pleasure of seeing 
you, and we are apt, in such cases, to lose sight of 
time, and to conceive that our friends remain sta 
tionary at the same point of health and vigor as 
when we last saw them. So I perceive by your 
letter you think with respect to myself, but twenty 
years added to fifty-seven make quite a different 
man. To threescore and seventeen add two years 
of prostrate health, and you have the old, infirm, 
and nerveless body I now am, unable to write but 
with pain, and unwilling to think without necessity. 
In this state I leave the world and its affairs to the 
young and energetic, and resign myself to their care, 
of whom I have endeavored to take care when 
young. I read but one newspaper and that of my 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 165 

own State, and more for its advertisements than its 
news. I have not read a speech in Congress for 
some years. I have heard, indeed, of the questions 
of the tariff and Missouri, and formed prima fade 
opinions on them, but without investigation. As 
to the tariff, I should say put down all banks, ad 
mit none but a metallic circulation, that will take 
its proper level with the like circulation in other 
countries, and then our manufacturers may work 
in fair competition with those of other countries, 
and the import duties which the government may 
lay for the purposes of revenue will so far place 
them above equal competition. The Missouri ques 
tion is a mere party trick. The leaders of feder 
alism, defeated in their schemes of obtaining power 
by rallying partisans to the principle of monarchism, 
a principle of personal not of local division, have 
changed their tack, and thrown out another barrel 
to the whale. They are taking advantage of the 
virtuous feelings of the people to effect a division of 
parties by a geographical line; they expect that 
this will ensure them, on local principles, the major 
ity they could never obtain on principles of federal 
ism ; but they are still putting their shoulder to the 
wrong wheel; they are wasting Jeremiads on the 
miseries of slavery, as if we were advocates for it. 
Sincerity in their declamations should direct their 
efforts to the true point of difficulty, and unite 
their counsels with ours in devising some reasonable 
and practicable plan of getting rid of it. Some of 
these leaders, if they could attain the power, their 
ambition would rather use it to keep the Union 

166 The Writings of [1820 

together, but others have ever had in view its separa 
tion. If they push it to that, they will find the line 
of separation very different from their 36 of lati 
tude, and as manufacturing and navigating States 
they will have quarrelled with their bread and 
butter, and I fear not that after a little trial they will 
think better of it, and return to the embraces of 
their natural and best friends. But this scheme of 
party I leave to those who are to live under its 
consequences. We who have gone before have per 
formed an honest duty, by putting in the power of 
our successors a state of happiness which no nation 
ever before had within their choice. If that choice 
is to throw it away, the dead will have neither the 
power nor the right to control them. I must hope, 
nevertheless, that the mass of our honest and well- 
meaning brethren of the other States, will discover 
the use which designing leaders are making of their 
best feelings, and will see the precipice to which they 
are led, before they take the fatal leap. God grant 
it, and to you health and happiness. 


MONTICELLO, October 24, 1820. 

Your kind letter, dear Sir of October i2th, was 
handed to me by Dr. Cooper, and was the first cor 
rection of an erroneous belief that you had long 
since left our shores. Such had been Colonel Ran 
dolph s opinion, and his had governed mine. I re 
ceived your adieu with feelings of sincere regret at 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 167 

the loss we were to sustain, and particularly of those 
friendly visits by which you had made me so happy. 
I shall feel, too, the want of your counsel and ap 
probation in what we are doing and have yet to do 
in our University, the last of my mortal cares, and 
the last service I can render my country. But 
turning from myself, throwing egotism behind me, 
and looking to your happiness, it is a duty and con 
solation of friendship to consider that that may be 
promoted by your return to your own country. 
There I hope you will receive the honors and re 
wards you merit, and which may make the rest of 
your life easy and happy ; there too you will render 
precious services by promoting the science of your 
country, and blessing its future generations with the 
advantages that bestows. Nor even there shall we 
lose all the benefits of your friendship; for this 
motive, as well as the love of your country, will be 
an incitement to promote that intimate harmony 
between our two nations which is so much the 
interest of both. Nothing is so important as that 
America shall separate herself from the systems of 
Europe, and establish one of her own. Our cir 
cumstances, our pursuits, our interests, are dis 
tinct, the principles of our policy should be so also. 
All entanglements with that quarter of the globe 
should be avoided if we mean that peace and justice 
shall be the polar stars of the American societies. I 
had written a letter to a friend while you were here, 
in a part of which these sentiments were expressed, 
and I had made an extract from it to put into your 
hands, as containing my creed on that subject. 

1 68 The Writings of 

You had left us, however, in the morning earlier 
than I had been aware ; still I enclose it to you, be 
cause it would be a leading principle with me, had 
I longer to live. During six and thirty years that 
I have been in situations to attend to the conduct 
and characters of foreign nations, I have found the 
government of Portugal the most just, inoffensive 
and unambitious of any one with which we had 
concern, without a single exception. I am sure 
that this is the character of ours also. Two such 
nations can never wish to quarrel with each other. 
Subordinate officers may be negligent, may have 
their passions and partialities, and be criminally re 
miss in preventing the enterprises of the lawless 
banditti who are to be found in every seaport of 
every country. The late piratical depredations 
which your commerce has suffered as well as ours, 
and that of other nations, seem to have been com 
mitted by renegado rovers of several nations, 
French, English, American, which they as well as 
we have not been careful enough to suppress. I 
hope our Congress now about to meet will strengthen 
the measures of suppression. Of their disposition 
to do it there can be no doubt; for all men of moral 
principle must be shocked at these atrocities. I 
had repeated conversations on this subject with the 
President while at his seat in this neighborhood. 
No man can abhor these enormities more deeply. 
I trust it will not have been in the power of aban 
doned rovers, nor yet of negligent functionaries, to 
disturb the harmony of two nations so much dis 
posed to mutual friendship, and interested in it. 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 169 

To this, my dear friend, you can be mainly instru 
mental, and I know your patriotism and philan 
thropy too well to doubt your best efforts to cement 
us. In these I pray for your success, and that 
heaven may long preserve you in health and pro 
sperity to do all the good to mankind to which your 
enlightened and benevolent mind disposes you. 
Of the continuance of my affectionate friendship, 
with that of my life, and of its fervent wishes for 
your happiness, accept my sincere assurance. 


POPLAR FOREST, November 28, 1820. 

DEAR SIR, I sent in due time the Report of the 
Visitors to the Governor, with a request that he 
would endeavor to convene the Literary Board in 
time to lay it before the legislature on the second 
day of their session. It was enclosed in a letter 
which will explain itself to you. If delivered before 
the crowd of other business presses on them, they 
may act on it immediately, and before there will have 
been time for unfriendly combinations and maneu- 
vres by the enemies of the institution. I enclose 
you now a paper presenting some views which may 
be useful to you in conversations, to rebut exag 
gerated estimates of what our institution is to cost, 
and reproaches of deceptive estimates. One hund 
red and sixty-two thousand three hundred and 
sixty -four dollars will be about the cost of the whole 
establishment, when completed. Not an office at 
Washington has cost less. The single building of 

1 70 The Writings of [1820 

the court house at Henrico has cost nearly that ; and 
the massive walls of the millions of bricks of William 
and Mary could not now be built for a less sum. 

Surely Governor Clinton s display of the gigantic 
efforts of New York towards the education of her 
citizens, will stimulate the pride as well as the pa 
triotism of our legislature, to look to the reputation 
and safety of their own country, to rescue it from the 
degradation of becoming the Barbary of the Union, 
and of falling into the ranks of our own negroes. 
To that condition it is fast sinking. We shall be in 
the hands of the other States, what our indigenous 
predecessors were when invaded by the science and 
arts of Europe. The mass of education in Virginia, 
before the Revolution, placed her with the foremost 
of her sister colonies. What is her education now? 
Where is it? The little we have we import, like 
beggars, from other States; or import their beggars 
to bestow on us their miserable crumbs. And what 
is wanting to restore us to our station among our 
confederates? Not more money from the people. 
Enough has been raised by them, and appropriated 
to this very object. It is that it should be employed 
understandingly, and for their greatest good. That 
good requires, that while they are instructed in 
general, competently to the common business of 
life, others should employ their genius with necessary 
information to the useful arts, to inventions for 
saving labor and increasing our comforts, to nour 
ishing our health, to civil government, military 
science, &c. 

Would it not have a good effect for the friends 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 171 

of this University to take the lead in proposing and 
effecting a practical scheme of elementary schools? 
To assume the character of the friends, rather than 
the opponents of that object. The present plan has 
appropriated to the primary schools forty -five thou 
sand dollars for three years, making one hundred and 
thirty -five thousand dollars. I should be glad to know 
if this sum has educated one hundred and thirty -five 
poor children ? I doubt it much. And if it has, they 
have cost us one thousand dollars a piece for what 
might have been done with thirty dollars. Sup 
posing the literary revenue to be sixty thousand 
dollars, I think it demonstrable, that this sum, 
equally divided between the two objects would am 
ply suffice for both. One hundred counties, divided 
into about twelve wards each, on an average, and a 
school in each ward of perhaps ten children, would 
be one thousand a ad two hundred schools, dis 
tributed proportionably over the surface of the 
State. The inhabitants of each ward, meeting to 
gether (as when they work on the roads), building 
good log houses for their school and teacher, and 
contributing for his provisions, rations of pork, beef, 
and corn, in the proportion each of his other taxes, 
would thus lodge and feed him without feeling it; 
and those of them who are able, paying for the 
tuition of their own children, would leave no call on 
the public fund but for the tuition fee of, here and 
there, an accidental pauper, who would still be fed 
and lodged with his parents. Suppose this fee ten 
dollars, and three hundred dollars apportioned to a 
county on an average, (more or less proportioned,) 

172 The Writings of [1820 

would there be thirty such paupers for every county? 
I think not. The truth is, that the want of common 
education with us is not from our poverty, but 
from want of an orderly system. More money is 
now paid for the education of a part, than would be 
paid for that of the whole, if systematically ar 
ranged. Six thousand common schools in New 
York, fifty pupils in each, three hundred thousand 
in all; one hundred and sixty thousand dollars an 
nually paid to the masters ; forty established acad 
emies, with two thousand two hundred and eighteen 
pupils; and five colleges, with seven hundred and 
eighteen students; to which last classes of institu 
tions seven hundred and twenty thousand dollars 
have been given; and the whole appropriations for 
education estimated at two and a half millions of 
dollars! What a pigmy to this is Virginia become, 
with a population almost equal to that of New York ! 
And whence this difference? From the difference 
their rulers set on the value of knowledge, and the 
prosperity it produces. But still, if a pigmy, let her 
do what a pigmy may do. If among fifty children 
in each of the six thousand schools of New York, 
there are only paupers enough to employ twenty- 
five dollars of public money to each school, surely 
among the ten children of each of our one thousand 
and two hundred schools, the same sum of twenty- 
five dollars to each school will teach its paupers, 
(five times as much as to the same number in New 
York,) and will amount for the whole to thirty 
thousand dollars a year, the one-half only of our 
literary revenue. 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 173 

Do then, dear Sir, think of this, and engage our 
friends to take in hand the whole subject. It will 
reconcile the friends of the elementary schools, and 
none are more warmly so than myself, lighten the 
difficulties of the University, and promote in every 
order of men the degree of instruction proportioned 
to their condition, and to their views in life. It will 
combine with the mass of our force, a wise direction 
of it, which will insure to our country its future 
prosperity and safety. I had formerly thought that 
visitors of the school might be chosen by the county, 
and charged to provide teachers for every ward, and 
to superintend them. I now think it would be 
better for every ward to choose its own resident 
visitor, whose business it would be to keep a teacher 
in the ward, to superintend the school, and to call 
meetings of the ward for all purposes relating to it ; 
their accounts to be settled, and wards laid off by 
the courts. I think ward elections better for many 
reasons, one of which is sufficient, that it will keep 
elementary education out of the hands of fanaticis- 
ing preachers, who, in county elections, would be 
universally chosen, and the predominant sect of the 
county would possess itself of all its schools. 

A wrist stiffened by an ancient accident, now 
more so by the effect of age, renders writing a slow 
and irksome operation with me. I cannot, there 
fore, present these views, by separate letters to each 
of our colleagues in the legislature, but must pray 
you to communicate them to Mr. Johnson and 
General Breckenridge, and to request them to con 
sider this as equally meant for them. Mr. Gordon 

174 The Writings of [1820 

being the local representative of the University, and 
among its most zealous friends, would be a more 
useful second to General Breckenridge in the House 
of Delegates, by a free communication of what con 
cerns the University, with which he has had little 
opportunity of becoming acquainted. So, also, 
would it be to Mr. Rives, who would be a friendly 

Accept the assurances of my constant and affec 
tionate esteem and respect. 


POPLAR FOREST, November 29, 1820. 

DEAR SIR, The enclosed letter from our ancient 
friend Tenche Coxe, came unfortunately to Monti - 
cello after I had left it, and has had a dilatory pass 
age to this place, where I received it yesterday, and 
obey its injunction of immediate transmission to 
you. We should have recognized the style even 
without a signature, and although so written as to 
be much of it indecipherable. This is a sample of 
the effects we may expect from the late mischievous 
law vacating every four years nearly all the execu 
tive offices of the government. It saps the con 
stitutional and salutary functions of the President, 
and introduces a principle of intrigue and corrup 
tion, which will soon leaven the mass, not only of 
Senators, but of citizens. It is more baneful than 
the attempt which failed in the beginning of the 
government, to make all officers irremovable but 
with the consent of the Senate. This places, every 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 175 

four years, all appointments under their power, and 
even obliges them to act on every one nomination. 
It will keep in constant excitement all the hungry 
cormorants for office, render them, as well as those in 
place, sycophants to their Senators, engage these in 
eternal intrigue to turn out one and put in another, 
in cabals to swap work ; and make of them what all 
executive directories become, mere sinks of cor 
ruption and faction. This must have been one of 
the midnight signatures of the President, when he 
had not time to consider, or even to read the law; 
and the more fatal as being irrepealable but with the 
consent of the Senate, which will never be obtained. 
F. Gilmer has communicated to me Mr. Correa s 
letter to him of adieux to his friends here, among 
whom he names most affectionately Mrs. Madison 
and yourself. No foreigner, I believe, has ever 
carried with him more friendly regrets. He was to 
sail the next day (November 10) in the British 
packet for England, and thence take his passage 
in January for Brazil. His present views are of 
course liable to be affected by the events of Portugal, 
and the possible effects of their example on Brazil. 
I expect to return to Monticello about the middle 
of the ensuing month, and salute you with constant 
affection and respect. 


MONTICELLO, December 25, 1820. 

DEAR SIR, On my return home after a long 
absence, I find here your favor of November the 

1 76 Thomas Jefferson [1820 

23d, with Colonel Taylor s Construction Construed, 
which you have been so kind as to send me, in the 
name of the author as well as yourself. Permit me, 
if you please, to use the same channel for conveying 
to him the thanks I render you also for this mark of 
attention. I shall read it, I know, with edification, 
as I did his Inquiry, to which I acknowledge myself 
indebted for many valuable ideas, and for the cor 
rection of some errors of early opinion, never seen in 
a correct light until presented to me in that work. 
That the present volume is equally orthodox, I 
know before reading it, because I know that Colonel 
Taylor and myself have rarely, if ever, differed in 
any political principle of importance. Every act 
of his life, and every word he ever wrote, satisfies 
me of this. So, also, as to the two Presidents, late 
and now in office, I know them both to be of prin 
ciples as truly republican as any men living. If 
there be anything amiss, therefore, in the present 
state of our affairs, as the formidable deficit lately 
unfolded to us indicates, I ascribe it to the inatten 
tion of Congress to their duties, to their unwise 
dissipation and waste of the public contributions. 
They seemed, some little while ago, to be at a loss 
for objects whereon to throw away the supposed 
fathomless funds of the treasury. I had feared the 
result, because I saw among them some of my old 
fellow laborers, of tried and known principles, yet 
often in their minorities. I am aware that in one 
of their most ruinous vagaries, the people were 
themselves betrayed into the same phrenzy with 
their Representatives. The deficit produced, and a 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 177 

heavy tax to supply it, will, I trust, bring both to 
their sober senses. 

But it is not from this branch of government we 
have most to fear. Taxes and short elections will 
keep them right. The judiciary of the United "*"7 
States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners 1 
constantly working under ground to undermine the 
foundations of our confederated fabric. They are 
construing our constitution from a co-ordination of 
a general and special government to a general and 
supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their 
feet, and they are too well versed in English law to 
forget the maxim, "boni judicis est ampliare juris - 
dictionem." We shall see if they are bold enough 
to take the daring stride their five lawyers have 
lately taken. If they do, then, with the editor of 
our book, in his address to the public, I will say, 
that "against this every man should raise his 
voice," and more, should uplift his arm. Who 
wrote this admirable address? Sound, luminous, 
strong, not a word too much, nor one which can be 
changed but for the worse. That pen should go 
on, lay bare these wounds of our constitution^ex- 
pose the decisions s^riatim^frnd arouse, as it is able, 
the attention of the nstidn to these bold speculators 
on its patience. Having found, from experience, 
that impeachment is an impracticable thing, a mere 
scare-crow, they consider themselves secure for life; 
they sculk from responsibility to public opinion, the 
only remaining hold on them, under a practice first 
introduced into England by Lord Mansfield. An 
opinion is huddled up in conclave, perhaps by a 

VOL. XII. 12. 

178 The Writings of [1820 

majority of one, delivered as if unanimous, and with 
the silent acquiescence of lazy or timid associates, 
by a crafty chief judge, who sophisticates the law to 
his mind, by the turn of his own reasoning. A 
judiciary law was once reported by the Attorney 
General to Congress, requiring each judge to deliver 
his opinion seriatim and openly, and then to give it 
in writing to the clerk to be entered in the record. 
A judiciary independent of a king or executive 
alone, is a good thing ; but independence of the will 
of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican 

But to return to your letter; you ask for my 
opinion of the work you send me, and to let it go 
out to the public. This I have ever made a point 
of declining, (one or two instances only excepted.) 
Complimentary thanks to writers who have sent 
me their works, have betrayed me sometimes before 
the public, without my consent having been asked. 
But I am far from presuming to direct the reading 
of my fellow citizens, who are good enough judges 
themselves of what is worthy their reading. I am, 
also, too desirous of quiet to place myself in the way 
of. contention. Against this I am admonished by 
bodily decay, which cannot be unaccompanied by 
corresponding wane of the mind. Of this I am as 
yet sensible, sufficiently to be unwilling to trust my 
self before the public, and when I cease to be so, I 
hope that my friends will be too careful of me to 
draw me forth and present me, like a Priam in 
armor, as a spectacle for public compassion. I 
hope our political bark will ride through all its 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 179 

dangers; but I can in future be but an inert pas 

I salute you with sentiments of great friendship 
and respect. 


MONTICELLO, Dec. 26. 20. 

DEAR SIR, Your acceptable letters of Mar. & 
Apr. 20 and of May 15. of the present year, have 
not been sooner answered, nor the brochures you so 
kindly sent me, acknowledged because the state of 
my health has in a great degree interdicted to me 
the labors of the writing table. Add to this a 
stiffening wrist, the effect of age on an antient dis 
location, which is likely to deprive me entirely of 
the use of the pen. 

We are expecting to see you all involved in war, 
in Europe. Revolutions going on in so many of it s 
countries, such military movements to suppress 
them, the intestine barbarisms of Engl? France, 
and Germany, seem impossible to pass away with 
out war; in a region too where war seems to be the 
natural state of man. 

Nor are we much at our ease here. The mischiefs 
of bank papers, catastrophe of our commerce, sud 
den and continued reduction of the nominal value 
of property & produce, which has doubled and 
trebled in fact the debts of those who owed any 
thing, place us in a state of great depression. But 
nothing disturbs us so much as the dissension lately 
produced by what is called the Missouri question: 

i So The Writings of [1820 

a question having just enough of the semblance of 
morality to throw dust into the eyes of the people, 
& to fanaticise them; while with the knowing ones 
it is simply a question of power. The Federalists, 
unable to rise again under the old division of whig 
and tory, have invented a geographical division 
which gives them 14. states against 10. and seduces 
their old opponents into a coalition with them. 
Real morality is on the other side. For while the 
removal of slaves from one state to another adds no 
more to their numbers than their removal from one 
country to another, the spreading them over a 
larger surface adds to their happiness and renders 
their future emancipation more practicable. v Mr. 
Botta when he published his excellent history of 
our revolution, was so kind as to send me a copy of 
it, for which I immediately & before I had read it, 
returned him my thanks. A careful perusal as soon 
as I had time made me sensible of it s high value, 
and anxious to get it translated & published. After 
some time I engaged a very competent person to 
undertake it, & lent him my copy. He proceeded 
however very slowly, & had made little progress 
when a Mr. Otis sent me a first volume of a transla 
tion he had made, and lately a 2d, the 3d and last 
being now in press. It is well done, and I am 
anxious to send a copy to Mr. Botta, if I can find 
the means. The ist difficulty is to keep it out of 
the French post office, which would tax it beyond 
it s value, and you know my situation among the 
mountains of the country, & how little probable it 
is that I should meet with a passenger going to 

i82o] Thomas Jefferson 181 

Paris. I will therefore address a copy thro my 
friend John Vaughan of Philadelphia and request 
him to deliver it to some passenger from that place 
to Paris. Would it be asking too great a favor of 
you to mention this, with my great respect, to Mr. 
Botta, supplying my inability to write?) And could 
you even go further, should you at any time find 
yourself in the bookshop of Messrs Debures and say 
to them that I shall take care in the spring to 
remit them the 3 f 8 _ 4 c balance of their last anovi, 
which arrived safely, to which I shall add a further 
call for some books. 

Our family, all present at least, join in friendly 
remembrances of you. Mr. Randolph is at present 
our Governor, & of course at Richmond. He has 
had the courage to propose to our legislature a plan 
of general emancipation & deportation of our slaves. 
Altho this is not ripe to be immediately acted on, it 
will, with the Missouri question, force a serious at 
tention to this object by our citizens, which the 
vicinage of St. Domingo brings within the scope of 
possibility. I salute you with constant & affec 
tionate respect and attachment. 


MONTICELLO, Dec. 26, 20. 

Long ill health, dear Sir, has brought me much 
into default with my corresponding friends, and it s 
sufferings have been augmented by the remorse re 
sulting from this default. I learnt with pleasure 

182 The Writings of [1820 

from your last letter, and from a later one of M. de 
la Fayette, that you were mending in health, and 
particularly that your eye-sight was sensibly im 
proved. I have to thank you for the copy of your 
Commentary on Montesquieu accompanying your 
letter, and a second thro Mr. Barnet. The world 
ought to possess it in it s native language, which 
cannot be compensated by any translation. This 
edition published here is now exhausted, and the 
copyright being near out, it will be reprinted with 
a corrected translation. For altho the former was 
one sent to me for revisal, sheet by sheet, yet the 
original not being sent with them (for the printer 
was 100. leagues distant) I could correct inaccuracies 
of language only, and not inconformities of senti 
ment with the original. The original MS. was re 
turned to me afterwards, and I hold it as testimony 
against the infidelities of Liege, or of another 

A second edition of your Economie Politique will 
soon also be called for here, in which Milligan s error 
on the freedom of your press will not be repeated. 
When he first printed the Prospectus of that work, 
the observation was true, as it was some time before 
your original was published in Paris. But he was 
so slow in getting it thro the press that the original 
appeared before his translation. He ought cer 
tainly after that to have omitted or corrected his 
prospectus. The knowledge however of your char 
ter has corrected the error here, by it s sanction of 
the freedom of the press, and the publication of the 
work there, and still more that of the commentary 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 183 

on Montesquieu are a full vindication of the char 
acter of the Charter. These two works will become 
the Statesman s Manual, with us, and they certainly 
shall be the elementary books of the political de 
partment in our new University. This institution 
of my native state, the Hobby of my old age, will 
be based on the illimitable freedom of the human 
mind, to explore and to expose every subject sus 
ceptible of it s contemplation. 

I still hold and duly value your little MS. entitled 
Logique. Being too small to make a volume of 
itself, I had it put into the hands of a very able 
editor of a periodical publication which promised 
to be valuable. It would have made a distinguished 
article in that work; but it s continuance having 
failed for want of the encouragement it merited, I 
was disappointed in the hope of giving to the 
world this compendious demonstration of the reality 
& limits of human knolege. I am still on the 
watch for a favorable opportunity of doing it. I 
am not without the hope that the improvement in 
your health may enable you still to compleat your 
Encyclopedic Morale, by adding the volume which 
was to treat of our sentiments and passions. This 
would fill up our moral circle, and the measure of 
our obligations to you. 

We go with you all lengths in friendly affections 
to the independance of S. America. But an im 
mediate acknolegement of it calls up other con 
siderations. We view Europe as covering at present 
a smothered fire, which may shortly burst forth and 
produce general conflagration. From this it is our 

1 84 The Writings of [1820 

duty to keep aloof. A formal acknolegement of the 
independance of her colonies would involve us with 
Spain certainly, and perhaps too with England, if 
she thinks that a war would divert her internal 
troubles. Such a war would hurt us more than it 
would help our brethren of the South: and our 
right may be doubted of mortgaging posterity for 
the expences of a war in which they will have a 
right to say their interests were not concerned. It 
is incumbent on every generation to pay it s own 
debts as it goes. A principle which, if acted on, 
would save one half the wars of the world; and 
justifies I think our present circumspection. In 
the meantime we receive & protect the flag of S. 
America in it s commercial intercourse with us, in 
the acknoleged principles of neutrality between two 
belligerant parties in a civil war: and if we should 
not be the first, we shall certainly be the second 
nation in acknoleging the entire independance of our 
new friends. What that independance will end in, 
I fear is problematical. Whether in wise govern 
ment or military despotisms. But prepared how 
ever, or not, for self-government, if it is their will to 
make the trial, it is our duty and desire to wish it 
cordially success, and of ultimate success there can 
be no doubt, and that it will richly repay all inter 
mediate sufferings. Of this your country, as well 
as ours, furnishes living examples. With the ex 
pression of hopes for them, accept my prayers for 
the perfect restoration of your health, & it s con 
tinuance thro a life as long as you shall wish it. 

i82o] Thomas Jefferson 185 


MONTICELLO, December 26, 1820. 

DEAR SIR, "It is said to be an ill wind which 
blows favorably to no one." My health has long 
suspended the too frequent troubles I have here 
tofore given you with my European correspondence. 
To this is added a stiffening wrist, the effects of 
age on an ancient dislocation, which renders writ 
ing slow and painful, and disables me nearly from 
all correspondence, and may very possibly make 
this the last trouble I shall give you in that way. 

Looking from our quarter of the world over the 
horizon of yours, we imagine we see storms gather 
ing which may again desolate the face of that 
country. So many revolutions going on in different 
countries at the same time, such combinations of 
tyranny and military preparations and movements 
to suppress them, England and France unsafe from 
internal conflict, Germany on the first favorable oc 
casion ripe for insurrection, such a state of things, 
we suppose, must end in war, which needs a kind 
ling spark in one spot only to spread over the 
whole. Your information can correct these views, 
which are stated only to inform you of impressions 

At home things are not well. The flood of paper 
money, as you well know, had produced an ex 
aggeration of nominal prices, and at the same time 
a facility of obtaining money, which not only en 
couraged speculations on fictitious capital, but se 
duced those of real capital, even in private life, to 
contract debts too freely. Had things continued in 

1 86 The Writings of [1820 

the same course, these might have been managable : 
but the operations of the United States Bank for the 
demolition of the States banks obliged these sud 
denly to call in more than half their paper, crushed 
all fictitious and doubtful capital, and reduced the 
prices of property and produce suddenly to one -third 
of what they had been. Wheat, for example, at the 
distance of two or three days from market, fell to, and 
continued at, from one-third to half a dollar. Should 
it be stationary at this for a while, a very general 
revolution of property must take place. Some 
thing of the same character has taken place in our 
fiscal system. A little while back, Congress seemed 
at a loss for objects whereon to squander the sup 
posed fathomless fund of our Treasury. This short 
frenzy has been arrested by a deficit of 5 millions the 
last year and of 7 millions this year. A loan was 
adopted for the former and is proposed for the 
latter, which threatens to saddle us with a per 
petual debt. I hope a tax will be preferred, because 
it will awaken the attention of the people and make 
reformation and economy the principles of the next 
election. The frequent recurrence of this chasten 
ing operation can alone restrain the propensity of 
governments to enlarge expense beyond income. 
The steady tenor of the courts of the United States 
to break down the constitutional barriers between 
the co-ordinate powers of the States and of the 
Union, and a formal opinion lately given by five 
lawyers of too much eminence, to be neglected, give 
uneasiness. But nothing has ever presented so 
threatening an aspect as what is called the Missouri 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 187 

question. The Federalists, completely put down 
and despairing of ever rising again under the old 
divisions of Whig and Tory, devised a new one of 
slave -holding and non -slave-holding States, which, 
while it had a semblance of being moral, was at the 
same time geographical, and calculated to give them 
ascendency by debauching their old opponents to a 
coalition with them. Moral the question certainly 
is not, because the removal of slaves from one State 
to another, no more than their removal from one 
country to another, would never make a slave of 
one human being who would not be so without it. 
Indeed, if there were any morality in the question 
it is on the other side; because by spreading them 
over a larger surface their happiness would be in 
creased, and burden of their future liberation 
lightened by bringing a greater number of shoulders 
under it. However, it served to throw dust into the 
eyes of the people and to fanaticize them, while to 
the knowing ones it gave a geographical and pre 
ponderant line of the Potomac and Ohio, throwing 
fourteen States to the North and East, and ten to 
the South and West. With these, therefore, it is 
merely a question of power; but with this geo 
graphical minority it is a question of existence. 
For if Congress once goes out of the Constitution 
to arrogate a right of regulating the condition of 
the inhabitants of the States, its majority may, and 
probably will, next declare that the condition of all 
men within the United States shall be that of free 
dom; in which case all the whites south of the 
Potomac and Ohio must evacuate their States, and 

i88 The Writings of [1820 

most fortunate those who can do it first. And so 
far this crisis seems to be advancing. The Missouri 
constitution is recently rejected by the House of 
Representatives ; what will be their next step is yet 
to be seen. If accepted on the condition that 
Missouri shall expunge from it the prohibition of 
free people of color from emigration to their State, 
it will be expunged, and all will be quieted until the 
advance of some new State, shall present the ques 
tion again. If rejected unconditionally, Missouri 
assumes independent self-government, and Con 
gress, after pouting awhile, must receive them on 
the footing of the original States. Should the 
Representatives propose force, i, the Senate will 
not concur; 2, were they to concur, there would be 
a secession of the members south of the line, and 
probably of the three Northwestern States, who, 
however inclined to the other side, would scarcely 
separate from those who would hold the Mississippi 
from its mouth to its source. What next? Con 
jecture itself is at a loss. But whatever it shall be 
you will hear from others and from the newspapers ; 
and finally the whole will depend on Pennsylvania. 
While she and Virginia hold together, the Atlantic 
States can never separate. Unfortunately, in the 
present case she has become more fanatisized than 
any other State. However useful where you are, 
I wish you were with them. You might turn the 
scale there, which would turn it for the whole. 
Should this scission take place, one of the most 
deplorable consequences would be its discourage 
ment of the efforts of the European nations in the 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 189 

regeneration of their oppressive and cannibal govern 
ments. Amidst this prospect of evil I am glad to 
see one good effect. It has brought the necessity 
of some plan of general emancipation and deporta 
tion more home to the minds of our people than it 
has ever been before, insomuch that our governor 
has ventured to propose one to the Legislature. 
This will probably not be acted on at this time, nor 
would it be effectual; for, while it proposes to de 
vote to that object one-third of the revenue of the 
State, it would not reach one-tenth of the annual 
increase. My proposition would be that the holders 
should give up all born after a certain day, past, 
present, or to come; that these should be placed 
under the guardianship of the State, and sent at a 
proper age to St. Domingo. They are willing to 
receive them, and the shortness of the passage 
brings the deportation within the possible means of 
taxation, aided by charitable contributions. In 
these I think Europe, which has forced this evil on 
us, and the Eastern States, who have been its chief 
instruments of importation, would be bound to give 
largely. But the proceeds of the land office, if 
appropriate to this, would be quite sufficient. God 
bless you, and preserve you multos anos. 


MONTICELLO, December 26, 1820. 

It is long, indeed, my very dear friend, since I have 
been able to address a letter to you. For more than 
two years my health has been so entirely prostrate, 

1 90 The Writings of [1820 

that I have, of necessity, intermitted all correspond 
ence. The dislocated wrist, too, which perhaps you 
may recollect, has now become so stiff from the 
effects of age, that writing is become a slow and 
painful operation, and scarcely ever undertaken but 
under the goad of imperious business. In the mean 
time your country has been going on less well than I 
had hoped. But it will go on. The light which has 
been shed on the mind of man through the civilized 
world, has given it a new direction, from which no 
human power can divert it. The sovereigns of Eu 
rope who are wise, or have wise counsellors, see this, 
and bend to the breese which blows; the unwise 
alone stiffen and meet its inevitable crush. The vol 
canic rumblings in the bowels of Europe, from north 
to south, seem to threaten a general explosion, and 
the march of armies into Italy cannot end in a simple 
march. The disease of liberty is catching; those 
armies will take it in the south, carry it thence to 
their own country, spread there the infection of 
revolution and representative government, and raise 
its people from the prone condition of brutes to the 
erect altitude of man. Some fear our envelopment 
in the wars engendering from the unsettled state of 
our affairs with Spain, and therefore are anxious for 
a ratification of our treaty with her. I fear no such 
thing, and hope that if ratified by Spain it will be re 
jected here. We may justly say to Spain, "when 
this negotiation commenced, twenty years ago, your 
authority was acknowledged by those you are selling 
to us. That authority is now renounced, and their 
right of self -disposal asserted. In buying them from 

1820] Thomas Jefferson 191 

you, then, we buy but a war-title, a right to subdue 
them, which you can neither convey nor we acquire. 
This is a family quarrel in which we have no right to 
meddle. Settle it between yourselves, and we will 
then treat with the party whose right is acknow 
ledged." With whom that will be, no doubt can be 
entertained. And why should we revolt them by 
purchasing them as cattle, rather than receiving 
them as fellow -men? Spain has held off until she 
sees they are lost to her, and now thinks it better to 
get something than nothing for them. When she 
shall see South America equally desperate, she will 
be wise to sell that also. 

With us things are going on well. The boisterous 
sea of liberty indeed is never without a wave, and 
that from Missouri is now rolling towards us, but we 
shall ride over it as we have over all others. It is 
not a moral question, but one merely of power. Its 
object is to raise a geographical principle for the 
choice of a president, and the noise will be kept up 
till that is effected. All know that permitting the 
slaves of the south to spread into the west will not 
add one being to that unfortunate condition, that it 
will increase the happiness of those existing, and by 
spreading them over a larger surface, will dilute the 
evil everywhere, and facilitate the means of getting 
finally rid of it, an event more anxiously wished 
by those on whom it presses than by the noisy 
pretenders to exclusive humanity. In the mean 
time, it is a ladder for rivals climbing to power. * * * 

i9 2 The Writings of [1821 


MONTICELLO, Jan. 13, 21. 

DEAR SIR, I return you Mr. Coxe s letter without 
saying I have read it. I made out enough to see that 
it was about the Missouri question, and the printed 
papers told me on which side he was. Could I have 
devoted a day to it, by interlining the words as I 
could pick them out, I might have got at more. 
The lost books of Livy or Tacitus might be worth 
this. Our friend would do well to write less and 
write plainer. 

I am sorry to hear of the situation of your family, 
and the more so as that species of fever is dangerous 
in the hands of our medical boys. I am not a 
physician & still less a quack but I may relate a fact. 
While I was at Paris, both my daughters were taken 
with what we formerly called a nervous fever, now 
a typhus, distinguished very certainly by a thread 
like pulse, low, quick and every now and then 
fluttering. Dr. Gem, an English physician, old, & 
of great experience, & certainly the ablest I ever met 
with, attended them. The one was about 5. or 6. 
weeks ill, the other 10. years old was 8. or ten weeks. 
He never gave them a single dose of physic. He 
told me it was a disease which tended with certainty 
to wear itself off, but so slowly that the strength of 
the patient might first fail if not kept up. That 
this alone was the object to be attended to by 
nourishment and stimulus. He forced them to 
eat a cup of rice, or panada, or gruel, or of some 
of the farinaceous substances of easy digestion 
every 2. hours and to drink a glass of Madeira. The 

1821] Thomas Jefferson 193 

youngest took a pint of Madeira a day without feel 
ing it, and that for many weeks. For costiveness, 
injections were used ; and he observed that a single 
dose of medicine taken into the stomach and con 
suming any of the strength of the patient was often 
fatal. He was attending a grandson of Mme. Hel- 
vetius, of 10 years old, at the same time, & under the 
same disease. The boy got so low that the old lady 
became alarmed and wished to call in another 
physician for consultation. Gem consented, that 
physician gave a gentle purgative, but it exhausted 
what remained of strength, and the patient expired 
in a few hours. 

I have had this fever in my family 3. or 4. times 
since I have lived at home, and have carried be 
tween 20. & 30. patients thro it without losing a 
single one, by a rigorous observance of Dr. Gem s 
plan and principle. Instead of Madeira I have 
used toddy of French brandy about as strong as 
Madeira. Brown preferred this stimulus to Ma 
deira. I rarely had a case, if taken in hand early, 
to last above i. 2. or 3. weeks, except a single one 
of 7. weeks, in whom when I thought him near his 
last, I discovered a change in his pulse to regularity, 
and in 12. hours he was out of danger. I vouch for 
these facts only, not for their theory. You may on 
their authority, think it expedient to try a single 
case before it has shewn signs of danger. 

On the portentous question before Congress, I 
think our Holy Alliance will find themselves so 
embarrassed with the difficulties presented to them 
as to find their solution only in yielding to Missouri 

VOL. XII. 13. 

194 The Writings of [1821 

her entrance on the same footing with the other 
states, that is to say with the right to admit or 
exclude slaves at her own discretion. Ever & affec 
tionately yours. 

P. S. I should have observed that the same ty 
phus fever prevailed in my neighborhood at the 
same times as in my family, and that it was very 
fatal in the hands of our Philadelphia Tyros. 


MONTICELLO, January 19, 1821. 

DEAR FRANCIS, Your letter of the ist came safely 
to hand. I am sorry you have lost Mr. Elliot, how 
ever the kindness of Dr. Cooper will be able to keep 
you in the track of what is worthy of your time. 

You ask my opinion of Lord Bolingbroke and 
Thomas Paine. They are alike in making bitter 
enemies of the priests and pharisees of their day. 
Both were honest men; both advocates for human 
liberty. Paine wrote for a country which permitted 
him to push his reasoning to whatever length it 
would go. Lord Bolingbroke in one restrained by a 
constitution, and by public opinion. He was called 
indeed a tory ; but his writings prove him a stronger 
advocate for liberty than any of his countrymen, 
the whigs of the present day. Irritated by his exile, 
he committed one act unworthy of him, in connect 
ing himself momentarily with a prince rejected by 
his country. But he redeemed that single act by 
his establishment of the principles which proved it 

1821] Thomas Jefferson 195 

to be wrong. These two persons differed remark 
ably in the style of their writing, each leaving a 
model of what is most perfect in both extremes of 
the simple and the sublime. No writer has ex 
ceeded Paine in ease and familiarity of style, in 
perspicuity of expression, happiness of elucidation, 
and in simple and unassuming language. In this 
he may be compared with Dr. Franklin ; and indeed 
his Common Sense was, for awhile, believed to have 
been written by Dr. Franklin, and published under 
the borrowed name of Paine, who had come over 
with him from England. Lord Bolingbroke s, on 
the other hand, is a style of the highest order. 
The lofty, rhythmical, full-flowing eloquence of 
Cicero. Periods of just measure, their members 
proportioned, their close full and round. His con 
ceptions, too, are bold and strong, his diction 
copious, polished and commanding as his subject. 
His writings are certainly the finest samples in the 
English language, of the eloquence proper for the 
Senate. His political tracts are safe reading for 
the most timid religionist, his philosophical, for those 
who are not afraid to trust their reason with dis 
cussions of right and wrong. 

You have asked my opinion of these persons, and, 
to you, I have given it freely. But, remember, that 
I am old, that I wish not to make new enemies, nor 
to give offence to those who would consider a 
difference of opinion as sufficient ground for un 
friendly dispositions. God bless you, and make 
you what I wish you to be. 

196 The Writings of [1821 


MONTICELLO, January 19, 1821. 

DEAR SIR, I duly received your favor of the 
nth, covering Judge Roane s letter, which I now 
return. Of the kindness of his sentiments expressed 
towards myself I am highly sensible; and could I 
believe that my public services had merited the ap 
probation he so indulgently bestows, the satisfaction 
I should derive from it would be reward enough to 
his wish that I would take a part in the transactions 
of the present day. I am sensible of my incom 
petence. For first, I know little about them, having 
long withdrawn my attention from public affairs, 
and resigned myself with folded arms to the care of 
those who are to care for us all. And, next, the 
hand of time pressing heavily on me, in mind as well 
as body, leaves to neither sufficient energy to engage 
in public contentions. I am sensible of the inroads 
daily making by the federal, into the jurisdiction of 
its co-ordinate associates, the State govemments. 
The legislative and executive branches may some 
times err, but elections and dependence will bring 
them to rights. The judiciary branch is the in 
strument which, working Tike~~^rccvity, rwithout in- 
termission JiSLtopress us at last into one consolidated 
mass. Against this I know no one who, equally 
with Judge Roane himself, possesses the power and 
the courage to make resistance; and to him I look, 
and have long looked, as our strongest bulwark. If 
Congress fails to shield the States from dangers so 
palpable and so imminent, the States must shield 
themselves, and meet the invader foot to foot. 

1821] Thomas Jefferson 197 

This is already half done by Colonel Taylor s book; 
because a conviction that we are right accomplishes 
half the difficulty of correcting wrong. This book 
is the most effectual retraction of our government 
to its original principles which has ever yet been 
sent by heaven to our aid. Every State in the 
Union should give a copy to every member they 
elect, as a standing instruction, and ours should 
set the example. Accept with Mrs. Thweat the 
assurance of my affectionate and respectful attach 
ment. 1 

1 Jefferson again wrote to Thweat : 

* MONTICELLO, Dec. 24, 21. 

" DEAR SIR, I have duly received your two favors of Nov. 6. & 
Dec. 13. requesting me to consent to the publication of my opinion 
on the encroachments of the judiciary of the U.S. expressed in a 
former letter to you, but my dear Sir, there is a time for things; for 
advancing and for retiring; for a Sabbath of rest as well as for days 
of labor, and surely that Sabbath has arrived for one near entering 
on his Both year. Tranquility is the summum bonum of that age. I 
wish now for quiet, to withdraw from the broils of the world, to 
soothe enmities and to die in the peace and good will of all mankind. 
The thing too which you request has been done in substance. In the 
extract of a letter, published with my consent, recommending Colo. 
Taylor s book, and in a letter to a Mr. Jarvis, who wrote and sent me 
a book entitled the Republican, in which letter, I formally combated 
his heretical doctrine that the judiciary is the ultimate expounder 
and arbiter of all constitutional questions. You are not aware of the 
inveterate hatred still rankling in the hearts of some of our old tories. 
I received the last summer a 4th of July oration from the son of a 
deceased friend. In my answer I commended it s principles in 
moderate and inoffensive terms, expressing at the same time my 
affections for his father. He published my letter, and it drew on me 
torrents of abuse, from particular tory papers, in the revived spirit 
of 96. and 1800. Their columns were filled with Billingsgate against 
me, for several months. No, my dear friend, permit me at length to 
retire from the angry passions of mankind and to pass in undis 
turbed repose the few days remaining to me of life. They will surely 
be past in sentiments of sincere esteem and respect for yourself, and 
affectionate attachment to Mrs. Thweat." 

198 The Writings of [1821 


MONTICELLO, January 22, 1821. 

I was quite rejoiced, dear Sir, to see that you had 
health and spirits enough to take part in the late con 
vention of your State, for revising its constitution, 
and to bear your share in its debates and labors. 
The amendments of which we have as yet heard, 
prove the advance of liberalism in the intervening 
period ; and encourage a hope that the human mind 
will some day get back to the freedom it enjoyed two 
thousand years ago. This country, which has given 
to the world the example of physical liberty, owes to 
it that of moral emancipation also, for as yet it is but 
nominal with us. The inquisition of public opinion 
overwhelms in practice, the freedom asserted by the 
laws in theory. 

Our anxieties in this quarter are all concentrated 
in the question, what does the Holy Alliance in and 
out of Congress mean to do with us on the Missouri 
question ? And this, by-the-bye, is but the name of 
the case, it is only the John Doe or Richard Roe of 
the ejectment. The real question, as seen in the 
States afflicted with this unfortunate population, is, 
are our slaves to be presented with freedom and a 
dagger? For if Congress has the power to regulate 
the conditions of the inhabitants of the States, 
within the States, it will be but another exercise of 
that power, to declare that all shall be free. Are we 
then to see again Athenian and Lacedemonian con 
federacies? To wage another Peloponnesian war to 
settle the ascendency between them? Or is this the 
tocsin of merely a servile war? That remains to be 

1821] Thomas Jefferson 199 

seen ; but not, I hope, by you or me. Surely, they 
will parley awhile, and give us time to get out of the 
way. What a Bedlamite is man? But let us turn 
from our own uneasiness to the miseries of our 
southern friends. Bolivar and Morillo, it seems, 
have come to the parley, with dispositions at length 
to stop the useless effusion of human blood in that 
quarter. I feared from the beginning, that these 
people were not yet sufficiently enlightened for self- 
government; and that after wading through blood 
and slaughter, they would end in military tyrannies, 
more or less numerous. Yet as they wished to try 
the experiment, I wished them success in it; they 
have now tried it, and will possibly find that their 
safest road will be an accommodation with the 
mother country, which shall hold them together by 
the single link of the same chief magistrate, leaving 
to him power enough to keep them in peace with one 
another, and to themselves the essential power of 
self-government and self-improvement, until they 
shall be sufficiently trained by education and habits 
of freedom, to walk safely by themselves. Repre 
sentative government, native functionaries, a qual 
ified negative on their laws, with a previous security 
by compact for freedom of commerce, freedom of 
the press, habeas corpus and trial by jury, would 
make a good beginning. This last would be the 
school in which their people might begin to learn 
the exercise of civil duties as well as rights. For 
freedom of religion they are not yet prepared. The 
scales of bigotry have not sufficiently fallen from 
their eyes, to accept it for themselves individually. 

200 The Writings of [1821 

much less to trust others with it. But that will 
come in time, as well as a general ripeness to break 
entirely from the parent stem. You see, my dear 
Sir, how easily we prescribe for others a cure for 
their difficulties, while we cannot cure our own. We 
must leave both, I believe, to heaven, and wrap our 
selves up in the mantle of resignation, and of that 
friendship of which I tender to you the most sincere 


MONTICELLO, Feb. 15. 21. 

DEAR SIR, I have just now received your favor 
of Jan. 30. and confirm, by my belief, Mr. Jay s 
criticism on the passages quoted from Botta. I can 
answer for it s truth from this state southwardly 
and Northwardly, I believe, to New York, for which 
state Mr. Jay is himself a competent witness. What, 
Eastward of that, might be the dispositions towards 
England before the commencement of hostilities I 
know not. Before that I never had heard a whisper 
of disposition to separate from Great Britain. And 
after that, it s possibility was contemplated with 
affliction by all. Writing is so slow and painful to 
me that I cannot go into details, but must refer you 
to Girardin s history of Virginia pa. 134. and Ap 
pendix No. 12, where you will find some evidence of 
what the sentiment was at the moment, and given 
at the moment. I salute you with great esteem & 

1821] Thomas Jefferson 201 


MONTICELLO, March 9, 1821. 

DEAR SIR, I am indebted for your favor of 
February 25th, and especially for your friendly in 
dulgence to my excuses for retiring from the polemi 
cal world. I should not shrink from the post of 
duty, had not the decays of nature withdrawn me 
from the list of combatants. Great decline in the 
energies of the body import naturally a correspond 
ing wane of the mind, and a longing after tranquillity 
as the last and sweetest asylum of age. It is a law 
of nature that the generations of men should give 
way, one to another, and I hope that the one now 
on the stage will preserve for their sons the political 
blessings delivered into their hands by their fathers. 
Time indeed changes manners and notions, and so 
far we must expect institutions to bend to them. 
But time produces also corruption of principles, and 
against this it is the duty of good citizens to be ever 
on the watch, and if the gangrene is to prevail at 
last, let the day be kept off as long as possible. We 
see already germs of this, as might be expected. 
But we are not the less bound to press against them. 
The multiplication of public offices, increase of ex 
pense beyond income, growth and entailment of a 
public debt, are indications soliciting the employ 
ment of the pruning-knif e ; and I doubt not it will 
be employed ; good principles being as yet prevalent 
enough for that. 

The great object of my fear is the federal judiciary. 
That body, like gravity, ever acting, with noiseless 
foot, and unalarming advance, gaining ground step 

202 The Writings of [1821 

by step, and holding what it gains, is ingulphing 
insidiously the special governments into the jaws of 
that which feeds them. The recent recall to first 
principles, however, by Colonel Taylor, by yourself, 
and now by Alexander Smith, will, I hope, be heard 
and obeyed, and that a temporary check will be 
effected. Yet be not weary of well doing. Let the 
eye of vigilance never be closed. 

Last and most portentous of all is the Missouri 
question. It is smeared over for the present; but 
its geographical demarcation is indelible. What it 
is to become, I see not ; and leave to those who will 
live to see it. The University will give employment 
to my remaining years, and quite enough for my 
senile faculties. It is the last act of usefulness I 
can render, and could I see it open I would not ask 
an hour more of life. To you I hope many will still 
be given ; and, certain they will all be employed for 
the good of our beloved country, I salute you with 
sentiments of especial friendship and respect. 1 

1 Jefferson further wrote to Judge Roane : 

" MONTICELLO, June 27, 1821. 

"DEAR SIR, I have received through the hands of the Governor, 
Colonel Taylor s letter to you. It is with extreme reluctance that I 
permit myself to usurp the office of an adviser of the public, what 
books they should read, and what not. I yield, however, on this 
occasion to your wish and that of Colonel Taylor, and do what (with 
a single exception only) I never did before, on the many similar ap 
plications made to me. On reviewing my letters to Colonel Taylor 
and to Mr. Thweat, neither appeared exactly proper. Each contained 
matter which might give offence to the judges, without adding strength 
to the opinion. I have, therefore, out of the two, cooked up what may 

be called an extract of a letter from Th: J. to ; but without 

saying it is published with my consent. That would forever deprive 
me of the ground of declining the office of a Reviewer of books in 
future cases. I sincerely wish the attention of the public may be 

1821] Thomas Jefferson 203 


MONTICELLO, Apr. 12. 21. 

DEAR SIR, I received yesterday your favor of the 
5th and now inclose for Mr. Barton a letter of 

drawn to the doctrines of the book; and if this self-styled extract 
may contribute to it, I shall be gratified. I salute you with constant 
friendship and respect." 

The "cooked up" commendation was: 


"I have read Colonel Taylor s book of Constructions Construed, with 
great satisfaction, and, I will say, with edification; for I acknowledge 
it corrected some errors of opinion into which I had slidden without 
sufficient examination. It is the most logical retraction of our 
governments to the original and true principles of the constitution 
creating them, which has appeared since the adoption of that instru 
ment. I may not perhaps concur in all its opinions, great and small; 
for no two men ever thought alike on so many points. But on all 
its important questions, it contains the true political faith, to which 
every catholic republican should steadfastly hold. It should be put 
into the hands of all our functionaries, authoritatively, as a standing 
instruction, and true exposition of our Constitution, as understood at 
the time we agreed to it. It is a fatal heresy to suppose that either 
our State governments are superior to the federal, or the federal to 
the States. The people, to whom all authority belongs, have divided 
the powers of government into two distinct departments, the leading 
characters of which are foreign and domestic; and they have ap 
pointed for each a distinct set of functionaries. These they have 
made co-ordinate, checking and balancing each other, like the three 
cardinal departments in the individual States: each equally supreme 
as to the powers delegated to itself, and neither authorized ultimately 
to decide what belongs to itself, or to its coparcener in government. 
As independent, in fact, as different nations, a spirit of forbearance 
and compromise, therefore, and not of encroachment and usurpation, 
is the healing balm of such a constitution; and each party should 
prudently shrink from all approach to the line of demarcation, in 
stead of rashly overleaping it, or throwing grapples ahead to haul 
to hereafter. But, finally, the peculiar happiness of our blessed 
system is, that in differences of opinion between these different sets 
of servants, the appeal is to neither, but to their employers peaceably 
assembled by their representatives in Convention. This is more 
rational than the jus fortioris, or the cannon s mouth, the ultima et 
sola ratio re gum." 

2O4 The Writings of [1821 

introduction to M. de la Fayette, the only personal 
acquaintance I have, now living in France. 

On politics I can say little to you, having with 
drawn all attention to them from the day of my re 
tirement. My confidence in both my successors has 
been so entire, that assured that all was going on for 
the best under their care I have not enquired what 
was going on. I am sorry to see our expences 
greater than our income. Debt & revolution are 
inseparable as cause and effect. It is the point of 
peculiar sensibility in our people, and one which 
they will not long endure. Parties will be arrayed 
on the principle of reformation, and there can be no 
doubt which will be the strongest. It would do 
some good if it would obliterate the geographical 
division which threatened and still threatens our 
separation. This last is a most fatal of all divisions 
as no minority will submit to be governed by a 
majority acting merely on a geographical principle. 
It has ever been my creed that the continuance of 
our union depends entirely on Pennsylve & Virginia, 
if they hold together nothing North or South will fly 
off. I firmly believe all the governments of Europe 
will become representative. The very troops sent 
to quell the spirit of reformn. in Naples will catch 
the fever & carry it back to their own country. We 
owe to all mankind the sacrifice of those morbid 
passions which would break our confederacy, the 
only anchor to which the hopes of the world are 
moored. Our thoughts and conversations are often 
turned to Mrs. Smith & yourself, and always affec 
tionately. In these sentiments the family now 

1821] Thomas Jefferson 205 

joins me, and in tendering to you our affectionate 


MONTICELLO, AugUSt 17, 1 82 1. 

DEAR SIR, Your favor of the 8th came to hand 
yesterday evening. I hope you will never suppose 
your letters to be among those which are trouble 
some to me. They are always welcome, and it is 
among my great comforts to hear from my ancient 
colleagues, and to know that they are well. The 
affectionate recollection of Mrs. Dearborne, cherished 
by our family, will ever render her health and hap 
piness interesting to them. You are so far astern 
of Mr. Adams and myself, that you must not yet 
talk of old age. I am happy to hear of his good 
health. I think he will outlive us all, I mean the 
Declaration-men, although our senior since the 
death of Colonel Floyd. It is a race in which I have 
no ambition to win. Man, like the fruit he eats, has 
his period of ripeness. Like that, too, if he con 
tinues longer hanging to the stem, it is but an useless 
and unsightly appendage. I rejoice with you that 
the State of Missouri is at length a member of our 
Union. Whether the question it excited is dead, 
or only sleepeth, I do not know. I see only that it 
has given resurrection to the Hartford convention 
men. They have had the address, by playing on 
the honest feelings of our former friends, to se 
duce them from their kindred spirits, and to borrow 
their weight into the federal scale. Desperate of 

206 The Writings of [1821 

regaining power under political distinctions, they 
have adroitly wriggled into its seat under the au 
spices of morality, and are again in the ascendency 
from which their sins had hurled them. It is in 
deed of little consequence who governs us, if they 
sincerely and zealously cherish the principles of 
union and republicanism. 

I still believe that the Western extension of our 
confederacy will ensure its duration, by overruling 
local factions, which might shake a smaller asso 
ciation. But whatever may be the merit or demerit 
of that acquisition, I divide it with my colleagues, 
to whose counsels I was indebted for a course of 
administration which, notwithstanding this late co 
alition of clay and brass, will, I hope, continue to 
receive the approbation of our country. 

The portrait by Stewart was received in due time 
and good order, and claims, for this difficult acquisi 
tion, the thanks of the family, who join me in 
affectionate souvenirs of Mrs. Dearborne and your 
self. My particular salutations to both flow, as 
ever, from the heart, continual and warm. 



DEAR SIR, You have probably seen in the news 
papers a letter of mine recommending Colo. Taylor s 
book to the notice of our fellow-citizens. I am 
pelted for it in print, and in letters, also complaining 

1821] Thomas Jefferson 207 

of the unfair use made of it by certain commenta 
tors. For this misuse I cannot be responsible. 
But I inclose to you my answer to one of these letters 
and place it in your hands as the Depository of old 
& sound principles and as a record of my protest 
against this parricide tribunal. There are two 
measures which if not taken, we are undone, ist. 
to check these unconstitutional invasions of state 
rights by the federal judiciary. How? not by im 
peachment in the first instance, but by a strong 
protestation of both houses of Congress that such 
and such doctrines, advanced by the supreme 
court, are contrary to the constitution: and if 
afterwards they relapse into the same heresies, im 
peach and set the whole adrift. For what was the 
government divided into three branches, but that 
each should watch over the others, and oppose their 
usurpations? 2. To cease borrowing money & to 
pay off the national debt. If this cannot be done 
without dismissing the army & putting the ships out 
of commission, haul them up high and dry, and re 
duce the army to the lowest point at which it was 
ever established. There does not exist an engine 
so corruptive of the government and so demoraliz 
ing of the nation as a public debt. It will bring on 
us more ruin at home than all the enemies from 
abroad against whom this army and navy are to 
protect us. What interest have we in keeping 
ships in service in the Pacific Ocean ? To protect a 
few speculative adventurers in a commerce dealing 
in nothing in which we have an interest. As if the 
Atlantic & Mediterranean were not large enough for 

2o8 The Writings of [1821 

American capital! As if commerce and not agri 
culture was the principle of our association! God 
bless you & long continue your wholesome influence 
in the public councils. 1 

1 In reply to a question from Macon concerning this letter, Jefferson 
wrote to him: 

" BUCKSPRING, Oct. 20, 21. 

" Absence at an occasional but distant residence prevented my re 
ceiving your friendly letter of Oct. 20. [sic] till 3. d. ago. A line from 
good old friends is like balm to my soul. You ask me what you are to 
do with my letter of Sep. [sic] 19. I wrote it, my dear Sir, with no other 
view than to pour my thoughts into your bosom. I knew they would 
be safe there, and I believed they would be welcome, but if you think, 
as you say, that good would be done by shewing it to a few well tried 
friends I have no objectn to that. But ultimately you cannot do 
better than to throw it into the fire. My confidence, as you kindly 
observed, has been often abused by the publication of my Itres for 
the purposes of interest or vanity; and it has been to me the source 
of much pain to be exhibited before the public in forms not meant 
for them. I receive Ires expressed in the most frdly & even affection 
ate terms, sometimes perhaps asking my opn on some subject. I 
cannot refuse to answer such letters, nor can I do it dryly & sus 
piciously. Among a score or two of such correspdts, one perhaps 
betrays me. I feel it mortifyingly, but conclude I had better incur 
one treachery than offend a score or two of good people. I sometimes 
expressly desire that my letters may not be publd, but this is so like 
requesting a man not to steal or cheat that I am ashamed of it after 
I have done it. 

" Our govmt is now taking so steady a course as to shew by what road 
it will pass to destruction, to wit, by consolidn first, & then corruption, 
it s necessary consequence. The engine of consolidn will be the Fedl 
judiciary, the two other branches the corrupted & corrupting in 
struments. I fear an explosion in our state legislature, I wish they 
may confine themselves to a strong but pacific temper. Protestn 
Virge is not at present in favr with her co-states. An opposn headed 
by her would determine all the anti-Missouri states to take the con 
trary side. She had better lie by therefore until the shoe shall pinch 
an Eastern state. Let the cry be first raised from that quarter & we 
may fall into it with effect. But I fear our Eastern associates wish 
for consolidn, in which they would be joined by the smaller states 
generally, but with a foot in the grave I have no right to meddle with 
these things. Ever & affectly." 

1821] Thomas Jefferson 209 


MONTICELLO, Sep. 16. 21. 

DEAR SIR, I have no doubt you have occasion 
ally been led to reflect on the character of the duty 
imposed by Congress on the importation of books. 
Some few years ago, when the tariff was before 
Congress, I engaged some of our members of Con 
gress to endeavour to get the duty repealed and 
wrote on the subject to some other acquaintances 
in Congress, and pressingly to the Secretary of the 
treasury. The effort was made by some members 
with zeal and earnestness, but it failed. The 
northern colleges are now proposing to make a 
combined effort for that purpose as you will see 
by the inclosed extract of a letter from Mr. Ticknor 
asking the co-operation of the Southern and Western 
institutions, & of our university particularly. Mr. 
Ticknor goes so ably into all the considerations 
justifying this step, that nothing need be added 
here, & especially to you; and we have only to 
answer his questions, whether we think with them 
on the subject of the tax? What should be the 
extent of the relaxation solicited? What mode of 
proceeding we think best? And whether we will 
co-operate in our visitatorial character? I must 
earnestly request your thoughts on these questions, 
fearful of answering them unadvisedly, and on my 
own opinions alone. 

I think that another measure, auxiliary to that 
of petitioning might be employed with great effect. 
That is for the several institutions, in their corporate 
capacities, to address letters to their representatives 

VOL. XII. 14. 

210 The Writings of [1821 

in both houses of Congress, recommending the 
proposition to their advocation. Such a recom 
mendation would certainly be respected, and might 
excite to activity those who might otherwise be 
indifferent and inactive and in this way a great 
vote, perhaps a majority might be obtained. There 
is a consideration going to the injustice of the tax 
which might be added to those noticed by Mr. 
Ticknor. Books constitute capital. A library book 
lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It 
is not then an article of mere consumption but 
fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional 
men, setting out in life it is their only capital. 
Now there is no other form of capital which is first 
taxed 1 8. per cent on the gross, and the proprietor 
then left to pay the same taxes in detail with others 
whose capital has paid no tax on the gross. Nor 
is there a description of men less proper to be 
singled out for extra taxation. Mr. Ticknor, you 
observe, asks a prompt answer, and I must ask it 
from you for the additional reason that within about 
a week, I set out for Bedford to remain there till the 
approach of winter. Be so good as to return me 
also the inclosed extract and be assured of my con 
stant & affectionate friendship. 

1821] Thomas Jefferson 2 1 1 


MONTICELLO, Dec. 8, 21. 

It would give me infinite pleasure, dear Madam, 
could I have afforded you the information requested 
in your favor of the 2yth of Nov. respecting the 
sacrifices of property to the relief of his country 
made by the virtuous General Nelson, your father, 
while in office during the war of the revolution. I 
retired from the administration of the government 
in May 1781. Until that time the paper money, 
altho it had been gradually depreciating from an 
early period, yet served the purposes of obtaining 
supplies, and was issued, as wanted, by the legisla 
ture. Consequently until that period there had 
been no occasion for advances of money in aid of 
the public, by any private individual. I was suc 
ceeded as governor by Genl. Nelson. Within his 
period the credit of the money went rapidly down 
to nothing, and ceased to be offered or received. 
At this time came on the Northern & French armies, 
and to enable these to keep the field during the 
siege of York was probably the occasion which led 
the General to take on himself responsibilities for 
which the public credit might not perhaps be 
sufficient. I was entirely withdrawn from public 
affairs, being confined at home, first for many 
months by a severe domestic loss, until I was sent 
to Congress and thence to Europe, from whence I 
did not return until some time after the death of 

1 From the original in the possession of Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet 
of New York. 

212 The Writings of [1821 

the worthy General. I then first heard mention of 
his losses by responsibilities for the public: and 
knowing his zeal, liberality & patriotism, I readily 
credited what I heard, altho I knew nothing of 
the particulars or of their extent. 

It would have been a matter of great satisfaction 
to me, could I by any knowledge of facts have con 
tributed to obtain a just remuneration and relief 
for his family, and particularly for Mrs. Nelson, 
whose singular worth and goodness I have intim 
ately known now more than half a century and 
whose name revives in my mind the affectionate 
recollections of my youth. With my regrets at 
this unprofitable appeal, be so kind as to tender her 
assurances of my continued and devoted respect, 
and to accept yourself those of my highest esteem 
and regard. 


MONTICELLO, Dec. 8. 21. 

DEAR SIR, In the antient Feudal times of our 
good old forefathers when the Seigneur married his 
daughter, or knighted his son, it was the usage for 
his vassals to give him a year s rent extra in the 
name of an Aid. I think it as reasonable when our 
Pastor builds a house, that each of his flock should 
give him an Aid of a year s contribution. I inclose 
mine as a tribute of Justice, which of itself indeed 
is nothing, but as an example, if followed, may 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. F. G. Burnham of 
Momstown, New Jersey. 

1821] Thomas Jefferson 213 

become something. In any event be pleased to ac 
cept it as an offering of duty, & a testimony of 
my friendly attachment and high respect. 


MONTICELLO, Dec. 26. 21. 

DEAR SIR, I learn with real regret from your 
favor of the roth the several circumstances which 
have deprived me of the pleasure of seeing, either 
here or at Poplar Forest, a relation whom I have 
long been taught to esteem, altho I have not the 
advantage of his personal acquaintance. I must 
find my consolation in the French adage that tout 
ce qui est differe n est pas perdu, assuring you that 
no visit will be received with more welcome. My 
hope too of a reiteration of effort is strengthened by 
the presumed additional excitement of curiosity to 
see our University; this now draws to it numerous 
visitors from every part of the state & from strangers 
passing thro it. I can assure you there is no build 
ing in the US. so worthy of being seen, and which 
gives an idea so adequate of what is to be seen be 
yond the Atlantic. There, to be sure they have 
immensely larger and more costly masses, but no 
thing handsomer or in chaster style. 

The balance which you mention as coming to me 
from Ronald s executors be so good as to have paid 
into the hands of Colo. Bernard Peyton my corre 
spondent in Richmond. 

I find you are to be harassed again with a bankrupt 

214 The Writings of [1821 

law. Could you not compromise between agricul 
ture and commerce by passing such a law which 
like the bye laws of incorporate towns, should be 
binding on the inhabitants of such towns only, 
being the residence of commerce, leaving the 
agriculturists, inhabitants of the country, in undis 
turbed possession of the rights & modes of proceed 
ings to which their habits, their interests and their 
partialities attach them ? This would be as uniform 
as other laws of local obligation. 

But you will have a more difficult task in curbing 
the Judiciary in their enterprises on the constitution. 
I doubt whether the erection of the Senate into an 
appellate court on Constitutional questions would 
be deemed an unexceptionable reliance; because it 
would enable the judiciary, with the representatives 
in Senate of one third only of our citizens, and that 
in a single house, to make by construction what they 
should please of the constitution, and thus bind in a 
double knot the other two thirds, for I believe that 
one third of our citizens chuse a majority of the 
Senate, and these too of the smaller states whose 
interests lead to lessen state influence, & strengthen 
that of the general government. A better remedy 
I think, and indeed the best I can devise would be 
to give future commissions to judges for six years 
(the Senatorial term) with a re-appointmentability 
by the president with the approbation of both 
houses. That of the H. of Repr. imports a majority 
of citizens, that of the Senate a majority of states 
and that of both a majority of the three sovereign 
departments of the existing government, to wit, of 

Thomas Jefferson 215 

it s Executive & legislative branches. If this would 
not be independance enough, I know not what 
would be such, short of the total irresponsibility 
under which we are acting and sinning now. The 
independance of the judges in England on the King 
alone is good; but even there they are not inde- 
pendant on the Parliament; being removable on the 
joint address of both houses, by a vote of a majority 
of each, but we require a majority of one house and 
2/3 of the other, a concurrence which, in practice, 
has been and ever will be found impossible ; for the 
judiciary perversions of the constitution will forever 
be protected under the pretext of errors of judg 
ment, which by principle are exempt from punish 
ment. Impeachment therefore is a bugbear which 
they fear not at all. But they would be under some 
awe of the canvas of their conduct which would be 
open to both houses regularly every 6th year. It 
is a misnomer to call a government republican, in 
which a branch of the supreme power is independent 
of the nation. By this change of tenure a remedy 
would be held up to the states, which altho vedjr 
distant, would probably keep them quiet. In aid 
of this a more immediate effect would be produced 
by a joint protestation of both Houses of Congress,., 
that the doctrines of the judges in the case of Cohens, 
adjudging a state amenable to their tribunal, and 
that Congress can authorize a corporation of the 
district of Columbia to pass any act which shall 
have the force of law within a state, are contrary 
to the provisions of the Constitution of the US. 
This would be effectual; as with such an avowal of 

216 The Writings of [1821 

Congress, no state would permit such a sentence to 
be carried into execution, within it s limits. If, by 
the distribution of the sovereign powers among 
three branches, they were intended to be checks on 
one another, the present case calls loudly for the 
exercise of that duty, and such a counter declaration, 
while proper in form, would be most salutary as a 

" Another most condemnable practice of the su 
preme court to be corrected is that of cooking up a 
decision in Caucus & delivering it by one of their 
members as the opinion of the court, without the 
possibility of our knowing how many, who, and for 
what reasons each member concurred. This com- 
pleatly defeats the possibility of impeachment by 
smothering evidence. A regard for character in 
each being now the only hold we can have of them, 
we should hold fast to it. They would, were they 
to give their opinions seriatim and publicly, en 
deavor to justify themselves to the world by ex 
plaining the reasons which led to their opinion. 
While Edmd Randolph was attorney general, he 
was charged on a particular occasion by the H. of 
R. to prepare a digest and some amendments to the 
judiciary law. One of the amendments he pro 
posed was that every judge should give his individual 
opinion, and reasons in open court, which opinions 
and reasons should be recorded in a separate book 
to be published occasionally in the nature of Reports. 
Other business prevented Congress from acting then 
on the bill. Such a provision would produce valu 
able effect and emulation in forming an opinion and 

i82i] Thomas Jefferson 217 

correctly reasoning on it; and would give us Re 
ports, unswelled by the arguments of counsel and 
within the compass of our reading and book shelves. 
But these things belong to the present generation, 
who are to live under them. The machine, as it is, 
will, I believe, last my time, and those coming after 
will know how to repair it to their own minds. I 
cannot help sometimes yielding to senile garrulity 
on matters not belonging to me, yet I pray not to be 
quoted, but pardoned for this weakness of age. 
With my prayers that our constitution may per- 
petuum durare per aevum accept the assurances of 
my affectionate esteem and respect. 


MONTICELLO, Dec. 31. 21. 

DEAR SIR, The inclosed paper was handed to me 
by our dear Martha with a request that I would con 
sider it, and say to you what I think of it. General 
Taylor has certainly stated the objections to Mr. 
Hackley s claim so fairly, fully and powerfully, that 
I need not repeat them, observing only that in men 
tioning the notice which Erving had of the negocia- 
tion with Alagon, he does not mention Mr. Hackley s 
notice, who on the 2gth of May 1819 took a con 
veyance from Alagon with a full knolege that 3. 
months before, the US. had by treaty become pro 
prietors of the whole province, and with an express 
annulment of the very title he was purchasing. 
This is more than a set off against the implied no 
tice of our government thro Erving. However the 

218 The Writings of [1821 

circumstance of notice, duly examined, has little 
weight in the case. The effect of the ratification is 
the true point, & that on which Genl. Taylor very 
properly rests it, and on which it will turn. On that 
two questions will arise. 

i. Did the ratification by the Cortes extend to the 
2d & 3d articles only and not to the 8th and it s 
subsequent explanations of the extent of these 
articles? If we are to decide this question for our 
selves (doubting the judgment of our government) 
we should have the act of the Cortes before us, to 
examine critically it s precise terms. But that I 
presume we have not ; as Genl. Taylor seems to take 
his information of it from the recital in the preamble 
of the Spanish ratification, that the "consent and 
authority of the general Cortes with respect to the 
occasion mentioned and stipulated in the 26. and 
3d articles, had been first obtained." May not this 
mean that they had consented to all the articles 
which respect the cession mentioned in the 26. and 
3d? Is it a necessary inference from this that the 
Cortes had not consented to any other article, and 
especially the 8th and it s explanations which re 
spect the cession mentioned in the 2d and 3d, and 
their extent? Which is most probable, that the 
Cortes refused their assent to that article? or that 
the King omitted to communicate it to them? or 
that, altho the fact of consent might be material, 
it s mention in the recital being unnecessary & 
superfluous, might be neither fully nor critically 
made? Again, when we consider that our govern 
ment (informed that grants had been made to 

i82i] Thomas Jefferson 219 

Alagon, Punon Rostro & de Vargas, subsequent in 
truth to Jan. 24. 18. but antedated fraudulently to 
bring them within the treaty, which grants covered 
nearly the whole country, from the boundary of the 
US. to the sea) made their nullification a sine qua 
non of the treaty, that they pertinaciously continued 
to refuse concluding it until their nullification was 
agreed to, can we believe they did conclude without 
knowing that the ratification of this article was as 
formal and firm as that of the articles it respected 
and explained? Did they mean to deceive their 
country and palm upon us a fallacious instrument? 
or were they deceived themselves, that is to say, the 
President, all the heads of departments, the Atty 
General, and the whole Senate, as having less 
knolege than we have of what was a valid ratifica 
tion? I confess that these considerations have 
weight with me when opposed to the opinion of 
Genl. Taylor as to the validity of the ratification. 

2. But a second question may be made, whether 
the ratification of the Cortes was necessary ? Whether 
the constitution proposed by them for the colonies 
had authority in them until accepted in each colony 
respectively ? The inhabitants of the colonies them 
selves, our government and our nation, certainly 
deny that it could, on principle, be in force in any 
colony without it s consent; and at the date of the 
ratification, not a single colony had accepted, nor 
do I know that a single one has done it to this day. 
I think myself certain that the Floridas have not. 
The old government continued in them to the day 
of their surrender; and under the old government, 

220 The Writings of [1821 

a cession of territory and ratification by the king 
was conclusive. Of this the cession of the same 
countries by the king to England, that of a degree 
of latitude of them to the US. and that of Louisiana 
to France are sufficient proofs. 

It is with real reluctance that I feel or express any 
doubts adverse to the interests of Mr. Hackley. I 
do it to yourself only, and with a wish not to be 
quoted, as well to avoid injury to him, as the im 
plication of myself in anything controversial. I am 
far from having strong confidence in doubts of what 
two such able jurists have decided; yet for Mr. 
Hackley s sake I anxiously wish that he should not 
be so far over-confident in the certainty of these 
opinions as to enter into any warranties of title in 
the portions he may dispose of. These vast grants 
of land are entirely against the policy of our govern 
ment. They have ever set their faces most decid 
edly against such monopolies. In all their sales of 
land they have taken every measure they could de 
vise to prevent speculations in them by purchases 
to sell again, & to provide that sales should be made 
to settlers alone. On this ground Mr. Hackley will 
have to contend against prejudices deeply rooted. 
These might perhaps be somewhat softened if, in 
stead of taking adverse possession, which the Presi 
dent is bound to remove summarily by the military, 
he were to make to Congress a full and candid 
statement of the considerations he has paid, or the 
sacrifices made, of which these lands are the com 
pensation. They might in that case make him such 
a grant as would amount to a liberal indemnification. 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 221 

I shall ever studiously avoid expressing to any 
person any doubt which might injure Mr. Hackley s 
prospects from this source, and sincerely wish him 
the most can be made of them. I renew to yourself 
affectionate assurances of attachment and respect. 


MONTO. Jan. 7. 22. 

DR. SIR, I see with much concern in your paper 
of the 3d that they are endeavoring to compromit 
me on the subject of the next President. The in- 
formn said to come from a gent, from Columbia is 
totally unfounded, & you will observe that the 
Augusta Chronicle which cited me as giving an acct. 
of the same Caucus says not a word of any letter 
from me. For all of the gentlemen named as sub 
jects of the future election I have the highest esteem 
and should much regret that they should suppose 
me to take any part in it. I entirely and decidedly 
withdraw myself from all intermeddling in matters 
of this nature. You will oblige me by inserting in 
your paper some such contribution as below x in a 
form not importing to come directly from myself. 
It is the more necessary as you seem to have given 
credit to it. I salute you with frdshp & resp. 

1 "In our paper of the 3d, under the head of the next President 
we quoted from the Petersbg Intelligencer the information of a Gentle 
man from Columbia S. O. mentioning that in a Caucus of members as 
sembled there for the nomin of a President a letter was read from 
Mr. Jefferson pointing to this object. We are authorized by a friend 
of Mr. J s much in his society & intimacy to declare that that Gent, 
never wrote such a letter, never put pen to paper on that subject, 
and studiously avoids all conversn on it." 

222 The Writings of [1822 


MONTICELLO, March 6, 1822. 

SIR, I have duly received your letter of February 
the 1 6th, and have now to express my sense of the 
honorable station proposed to my ex -brethren and 
myself, in the constitution of the society for the 
civilization and improvement of the Indian tribes. 
The object too, expressed as that of the association, 
is one which I have ever had much at heart, and 
never omitted an occasion of promoting while I 
have been in situations to do it with effect, and 
nothing, even now, in the calm of age and retire 
ment, would excite in me a more lively interest than 
an approvable plan of raising that respectable and 
unfortunate people from the state of physical and 
moral abjection, to which they have been reduced 
by circumstances foreign to them. That the plan 
now proposed is entitled to unmixed approbation, I 
am not prepared to say, after mature consideration, 
and with all the partialities which its professed ob 
ject would rightfully claim from me. 

I shall not undertake to draw the line of demarca 
tion between private associations of laudable views 
and unimposing numbers, and those whose magni 
tude may rivalize and jeopardize the march of 
regular government. Yet such a line does exist. 
I have seen the days, they were those which pre 
ceded the revolution, when even this last and 
perilous engine became necessary; but they were 
days which no man would wish to see a second 
time. That was the case where the regular author 
ities of the government had combined against the 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 223 

rights of the people, and no means of correction re 
mained to them but to organize a collateral power, 
which, with their support, might rescue and secure 
their violated rights. But such is not the case with 
our government. We need hazard no collateral 
power, which, by a change of its original views, 
and assumption of others we know not how virtuous 
or how mischievous, would be ready organized and 
in force sufficient to shake the established founda 
tions of society, and endanger its peace and the 
principles on which it is based. Is not the machine 
now proposed of this gigantic stature ? It is to con 
sist of the ex-Presidents of the United States, the 
Vice President, the Heads of all the Executive de 
partments, the members of the supreme judiciary, 
the Governors of the several States and territories, 
all the members of both Houses of Congress, all the 
general officers of the army, the commissioners of 
the navy, all Presidents and Professors of colleges 
and theological seminaries, all the clergy of the 
United States, the Presidents and Secretaries of all 
associations having relation to Indians, all com 
manding officers within or near Indian territories, 
all Indian superintendents and agents; all these 
ex officio; and as many private individuals as will 
pay a certain price for membership. Observe, too, 
that the clergy will constitute * nineteen twentieths 
of this association, and, by the law of the majority, 
may command the twentieth part, which, composed 

1 The clergy of the United States may probably be estimated at 
eight thousand. The residue of this society at four hundred ; but if 
the former number be halved, the reasoning will be the same. T. J. 

224 The Writings of [1822 

of all the high authorities of the United States, 
civil and military, may be outvoted and wielded by 
the nineteen parts with uncontrollable power, both 
as to purpose and process. Can this formidable 
array be reviewed without dismay? It will be said, 
that in this association will be all the confidential 
officers of the government; the choice of the people 
themselves. No man on earth has more implicit 
confidence than myself in the integrity and discre 
tion of this chosen band of servants. But is con 
fidence or discretion, or is strict limit, the principle 
of our constitution? It will comprehend, indeed, 
all the functionaries of the government ; but seceded 
from their constitutional stations as guardians of the 
nation, and acting not by the laws of their station, 
but by those of a voluntary society, having no 
limit to their purposes but the same will which 
constitutes their existence. It will be the author 
ities of the people and all influential characters from 
among them, arrayed on one side, and on the other 
the people themselves deserted by their leaders. It 
is a fearful array. It will be said that these are 
imaginary fears. I know they are so at present. I 
know it is as impossible for these agents of our 
choice and unbounded confidence, to harbor machina 
tions against the adored principles of our constitu 
tion, as for gravity to change its direction, and 
gravid bodies to mount upwards. The fears are 
indeed imaginary, but the example is real. Under 
its authority, as a precedent, future associations 
will arise with objects at which we should shudder 
at this time. The society of Jacobins, in another 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 225 

country, was instituted on principles and views as 
virtuous as ever kindled the hearts of patriots. It 
was the pure patriotism of their purposes which ex 
tended their association to the limits of the nation, 
and rendered their power within it boundless; and 
it was this power which degenerated their principles 
and practices to such enormities as never before 
could have been imagined. Yet these were men, 
and we and our descendants will be no more. The 
present is a case where, if ever, we are to guard 
against ourselves; not against ourselves as we are, 
but as we may be; for who can now imagine what 
we may become under circumstances not now 
imaginable? The object of this institution, seems 
to require so hazardous an example as little as any 
which could be proposed. The government is, at 
this time, going on with the process of civilizing the 
Indians on a plan probably as promising as any one 
of us is able to devise, and with resources more com 
petent than we could expect to command by volun 
tary taxation. Is it that the new characters called 
into association with those of the government, are 
wiser than these? Is it that a plan originated by a 
meeting of private individuals is better than that 
prepared by the concentrated wisdom of the nation, 
of men not self-chosen, but clothed with the full 
confidence of the people? Is it that there is no 
danger that a new authority, marching, independ 
ently, along side of the government, in the same 
line and to the same object, may not produce 
collision, may not thwart and obstruct the opera 
tions of the government, or wrest the object entirely 

VOL. XII. 15. 

226 The Writings of [1822 

from their hands? Might we not as well appoint a 
committee for each department of the government, 
to counsel and direct its head separately, as volun 
teer ourselves to counsel and direct the whole, in 
mass? And might we not do it as well for their 
foreign, their fiscal, and their military, as for their 
Indian affairs? And how many societies, auxiliary 
to the government, may we expect to see spring up, 
in imitation of this, offering to associate themselves 
in this and that of its functions? In a word, why 
not take the government out of its constitutional 
hands, associate them indeed with us, to preserve a 
semblance that the acts are theirs, but insuring them 
to be our own by allowing them a minor vote only ? 
These considerations have impressed my mind 
with a force so irresistible, that (in duty bound to 
answer your polite letter, without which I should 
not have obtruded an opinion) I have not been able 
to withhold the expression of them. Not knowing 
the individuals who have proposed this plan, I 
cannot be conceived as entertaining personal dis 
respect for them. On the contrary, I see in the 
printed list persons for whom I cherish sentiments 
of sincere friendship, and others, for whose opinions 
and purity of purpose I have the highest respect. 
Yet thinking as I do, that this association is un 
necessary; that the government is proceeding to 
the same object under control of the law ; that they 
are competent to it in wisdom, in means, and in 
clination; that this association, this wheel within 
a wheel, is more likely to produce collision than 
aid; and that it is, in its magnitude, of dangerous 

1 82 2] Thomas Jefferson 227 

example ; I am bound to say, that, as a dutiful citizen, 
I cannot in conscience become a member of this 
society, possessing as it does my entire confidence in 
the integrity of its views. I feel with awe the 
weight of opinion to which I may be opposed, and 
that, for myself, I have need to ask the indulgence 
of a belief that the opinion I have given is the best 
result I can deduce from my own reason and ex 
perience, and that it is sincerely conscientious. 
Repeating, therefore, my just acknowledgments for 
the honor proposed to me, I beg leave to add the 
assurances to the society and yourself of my highest 
confidence and consideration. 1 

1 Jefferson, before writing this, had written to Madison: 

" MONTICELLO, Feb. 25, 22. 

" DEAR SIR, I have no doubt you have received, as I have done, a 
letter from Dr. Morse with a printed pamphlet, proposing to us a 
place in a self-constituted society for the civilisation of the Indian &c. 
I am anxious to know your thoughts on the subject because they 
would affect my confidence in my own. I disapprove the proposition 
altogether. I acknolege the right of voluntary associations for 
laudable purposes and in moderate numbers. I acknolege too the 
expediency, for revolutionary purposes, of general associations, co 
extensive with the nation. But where, as in our case, no abuses call 
for revolution, voluntary associations so extensive as to grapple with 
& controul the government, should such be or become their purpose, 
are dangerous machines, and should be frowned down in every regu 
lated government. Here is one proposed to comprehend all the 
functionaries of the government executive, legislative & Judiciary, 
all officers of the army or navy, governors of the states, learned in 
stitutions, the whole body of the clergy who will be 19/20 of the whole 
association, and as many other individuals as can be enlisted for 5. 
D. apiece. For what object? One which the government is pursuing 
with superior means, superior wisdom, and under limits of legal 
prescription. And by whom? A half dozen or dozen private in 
dividuals, of whom we know neither the number nor names, except 
of Elias B. Caldwell their foreman, Jedediah Morse of Ocean memory 
their present Secretary & in petto their future agent, &c. These 
clubbists of Washington, who from their residence there will be the 

228 The Writings of [1822 


MONTICELLO, May 13, 1822. 

MESSRS. RITCHIE AND GOOCH, I am thankful to 
you for the paper you have been so kind as to send 

real society, have undertaken to embody even the government itself 
into an instrument to be wielded by themselves and for purposes 
directed by themselves. Observe that they omit the President s name, 
and for reasons too flimsy to be the true ones. No doubt they have 
proposed it to him, and his prudence has refused his name. And shall 
we suffer ourselves to be constituted into tools by such an authority? 
Who, after this example, may not impress us into their purposes? 
Feeling that the association is unnecessary, presumptuous & of dan 
gerous example, my present impression is to decline membership, to 
give my reasons for it, in terms of respect, but with frankness, but as 
the answer is not pressing, I suspend it until I can hear from you in 
the hope you will exchange thoughts with me, that I may shape my 
answer as much in conformity with yours as coincidence in our views 
of the subject may admit: and I will pray to hear from you by the 
first mail. Ever & affectionately yours." 

He also wrote to Monroe: 

" MONTICELLO, Mar. 19. 22. 

" DEAR SIR, Your favor of Mar. 14. has been duly received. In 
that you ask if my letter to Mr. Morse may be communicated to the 
gentlemen of the administration and other friends. In the first 
place the former are entitled to it s communication from Mr. Morse 
as named members of his society. But independantly of that, a 
letter addressed to a society of 6. or 8000 people is de facto made 
public. I had supposed it possible indeed that the society or some 
of it s members might perhaps publish it as the only practicable 
means of communicating it to so extensive an association. This 
would be best, because Mr. Morse might otherwise consider it as done 
by myself, and that it was a gauntlet thrown down to challenge him 
into the Arena of the public papers; and should he take it up, I 
should certainly prove a recreant knight, and never meet him in that 
field. But do in this whatever you please. I abandon the letter to 
any good it may answer. With respect to Spanish America I think 
you have taken the exact point of time for recognizing it s independ- 
ance, neither sooner nor later. I give whatever credit they merit to 
those who are glorifying themselves on their premature advice to 
have done it 3. or 4. years ago. We have preserved the approbation 
of nations, and yet taken the station we were entitled to of being 
the first to receive & welcome them as brothers into the family of 
nations. Affectionate & respectful salutations." 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 229 

me, containing the arraignment of the Presidents of 
the United States generally, as peculators or ac 
cessories to peculation, by an informer who masks 
himself under the signature of "a Native Vir 
ginian." What relates to myself in this paper, 
(being his No. VI., and the only No. I have seen,) I 
had before read in the Federal Republican of Balti 
more, of August 28th, which was sent to me by a 
friend, with the real name of the author. It was 
published there during the ferment of a warmly- 
contested election. I considered it, therefore, as an 
electioneering manoeuvre merely, and did not even 
think it required the trouble of recollecting, after a 
lapse of thirty-three years, the circumstances of the 
case in which he charges me with having purloined 
from the treasury of the United States the sum of 
$1,148. But as he has thought it worth repeating 
in his Roll of informations against your Presidents 
nominally, I shall give the truths of the case, which 
he has omitted, perhaps because he did not know 
them, and ventured too inconsiderately to supply 
them from his own conjectures. 

On the return from my mission to France, and 
joining the government here, in the spring of 1790, 
I had a long and heavy account to settle with the 
United States, of the administration of their pecuni 
ary affairs in Europe, of which the superintendence 
had been confided to me while there. I gave in my 
account early, but the pressure of other business did 
not permit the accounting officers to attend to it 
till October loth, 1792, when we settled, and a 
a balance of $888 67 appearing to be due from me, 

230 The Writings of [1822 

(but erroneously as will be shown,) I paid the 
money the same day, delivered up my vouchers, 
and received a certificate of it. But still the articles 
of my draughts on the bankers could be only pro 
visionally past; until their accounts also should be 
received to be confronted with mine. And it was 
not till the 24th of June, 1804, that I received a 
letter from Mr. Richard Harrison the auditor, in 
forming me "that my accounts, as Minister to 
France, had been adjusted and closed," adding, 
"the bill drawn and credited by you under date of 
the 2ist of October, 1789, for banco florins 2,800, 
having never yet appeared in any account of the 
Dutch bankers, stand at your debit only as a pro 
visional charge. If it should hereafter turn out, as 
I incline to think it will, that this bill has never 
been negotiated or used by Mr. Grand, you will have 
a just claim on the public for its value." This was 
the first intimation to me that I had too hastily 
charged myself with that draught. I determined, 
however, as I had allowed it in my account, and paid 
up the balance it had produced against me, to let 
it remain awhile, as there was a possibility that the 
draught might still be presented by the holder to the 
bankers; and so it remained till I was near leaving 
Washington, on my final retirement from the ad 
ministration in 1809. I then received from the 
auditor, Mr. Harrison, the following note: "Mr. 
Jefferson, in his accounts as late Minister to France, 
credited among other sums, a bill drawn by him on 
the 2ist October, 1789, to the order of Grand & Co., 
on the bankers of the United States at Amsterdam, 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 231 

f. Banco f. 2,800, equal with agio to current florins 
2,870, and which was charged to him provisionally 
in the official statement made at the Treasury, in 
the month of October, 1804. But as this bill has not 
yet been noticed in any account rendered by the 
bankers, the presumption is strong that it was never 
negotiated or presented for payment, and Mr. 
Jefferson, therefore, appears justly entitled to re 
ceive the value of it, which, at forty cents the gilder, 
(the rate at which it was estimated in the above- 
mentioned statement,) amounts to $1,148. Audi 
tor s office, January 24th, 1809." 

Desirous of leaving nothing unsettled behind me, 
I drew the money from the treasury, but without 
any interest, although I had let it lie there twenty 
years, and had actually on that error paid $888 67, 
an apparent balance against me, when the true 
balance was in my favor $259 33. The question 
then is, how has this happened? I have examined 
minutely, and can state it clearly. 

Turning to my pocket diary I find that on the 
2ist day of October, 1789, the date of this bill, I 
was at Cowes in England, on my return to the 
United States. The entry in my diary is in these 
words: "1789, October 2ist. Sent to Grand & 
Co., letter of credit on Willinks, Van Staphorsts and 
Hubbard, for 2,800 florins Banco." And I imme 
diately credited it in my account with the United 
States in the following words: "1789, October 21. 
By my bill on Willinks, Van Staphorsts and Hub- 
bard, in favor of Grand & Co., for 2,800 florins, 
equal to 6,230 livres 18 sous." My account having 

232 The Writings of [1822 

been kept in livres and sous of France, the auditor 
settled this sum at the current exchange, making it 
$1,148. This bill, drawn at Cowes in England, had 
to pass through London to Paris by the English and 
French mails, in which passage it was lost, by some 
unknown accident, to which it was the more ex 
posed in the French mail, by the confusion then 
prevailing; for it was exactly at the time that 
martial law was proclaimed at Paris, the country all 
up in arms, and executions by the mobs were daily 
perpetrating through town and country. However 
this may have been, the bill never got to the hands 
of Grand & Co., was never, of course, forwarded by 
them to the bankers of Amsterdam, nor anything 
more ever heard of it. The auditor s first conjecture 
then was the true one, that it never was negotiated, 
nor therefore charged to the United States in any 
of the bankers accounts. I have now under my eye 
a duplicate furnished me by Grand of his account of 
that date against the United States, and his private 
account against myself, and I affirm that he has not 
noticed this bill in either of these accounts, and the 
auditor assures us the Dutch bankers had never 
charged it. The sum of the whole then is, that I 
drew a bill on the United States bankers, charged 
myself with it on the presumption it would be paid, 
that it never was paid however, either by the bankers 
of the United States, or anybody else. It was 
surely just then to return me the money I had paid 
for it. Yet "the Native Virginian" thinks that 
this act of receiving back the money I had thus 
through error overpaid, " was a palpable and manifest 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 233 

act of moral turpitude, about which no two honest, im 
partial men can possibly differ." I ascribe these 
hard expressions to the ardor of his zeal for the 
public good, and as they contain neither argument 
nor proof, I pass them over without observation. 
Indeed, I have not been in the habit of noticing 
these morbid ejections of spleen either with or with 
out the names of those venting them. But I have 
thought it a duty on the present occasion to relieve 
my fellow citizens and my country from the degrada 
tion in the eyes of the world to which this informer 
is endeavoring to reduce it by representing it as 
governed hitherto by a succession of swindlers and 
peculators. Nor shall I notice any further en 
deavors to prove or to palliate this palpable mis 
information. I am too old and inert to undertake 
minute investigations of intricate transactions of 
the last century ; and I am not afraid to trust to the 
justice and good sense of my fellow -citizens on 
future, as on former attempts to lessen me in their 

I ask of you, gentlemen, the insertion of this 
letter in your paper; and I trust that the printers 
who have hazarded the publication of the libel, on 
anonymous authority, will think that of the answer 
a moderate retribution of the wrong to which they 
have been accessory. 1 

1 Once more, Jefferson wrote to Ritchie and Gooch: 

" MONTICELLO, June 10, 1822. 

" MESSRS. RITCHIE AND GOOCH, In my letter to you of May i3th, 
in answer to a charge by a person signing himself A Native Virginian, 
that on a bill drawn by me for a sum equivalent to $1,148, the treasury 
of the United States had made double payment, I supposed I had done 

234 The Writings of [1822 


MONTICELLO, June i, 1822. 

It is very long, my dear Sir, since I have written 
to you. My dislocated wrist is now become so stiff 

as much as would be required when I showed they had only returned 
to me money which I had previously paid into the treasury on the 
presumption that such a bill had been paid for me, but that this 
bill being lost or destroyed on the way, had never been presented, 
consequently never paid by the United States, and that the money 
was therefore returned to me. This being too plain for controversy, 
the pseudo Native of Virginia, in his reply, No. 32, in the, Federal 
Republican of May 24th, reduces himself ultimately to the ground 
of a double receipt of the money by me, first on sale or negotiation 
of the bill in Europe, and a second time from the treasury. But the 
bill was never sold or negotiated anywhere. It was not drawn to 
raise money in the market. I sold it to nobody, received no money 
on it, but enclosed it to Grand & Co. for some purpose of account, for 
what particular purpose neither my memory, after a lapse of thirty- 
three years, nor my papers enable me to say. Had I preserved a 
copy of my letter to Grand enclosing the bill, that would doubtless 
have explained the purpose. But it was drawn on the eve of my 
embarkation with my family from Cowes for America, and probably 
the hurry of preparation for that did not allow me time to take a copy. 
I presume this because I find no such letter among my papers. Nor 
does any subsequent correspondence with Grand explain it, because 
I had no private account with him; my account as minister being 
kept with the treasury directly, so that he, receiving no intimation of 
this bill, could never give me notice of its miscarriage. But, however 
satisfactory might have been an explanation of the purpose of the 
bill, it is unnecessary at least ; the material fact being established that 
it never got to hand, nor was ever paid by the United States. 

" And how does the Native Virginian maintain his charge that I re 
ceived the cash when I drew the bill? by unceremoniously inserting 
into the entry of that article in my account, words of his own, making 
me say in direct terms that I did receive the cash for the bill. In my 
account rendered to the treasury, it is entered in these words: 1789, 
Oct. i. By my bill on Willincks, Van Staphorsts & Hubbard in favor 
of Grand & Co. for 2,800 florins, equal to 6,230 livres 18 sous; but 
he quotes it as stated in my account rendered to and settled at the 
treasury, and yet remaining, as it is to be presumed, among the 
archives of that department, By cash received of Grand for bill on 
Willincks, &c. Now the words cash received of Grand constitute 
the very point, the pivot, on which the matter turns, as himself 


1822] Thomas Jefferson 235 

that I write slow and with pain, and therefore write 
as little as I can. Yet it is due to mutual friendship 
to ask once in awhile how we do? The papers tell 

says, and not finding, he has furnished them. Although the inter 
polation of them is sufficiently refuted by the fact that Grand was, at 
the time, in France, and myself in England, yet wishing that con 
viction of the interpolation should be founded on official document, 
I wrote to the auditor, Mr. Harrison, requesting an official certificate 
of the very words in which that article stood in my autograph account 
deposited in the office. I received yesterday his answer of the 3d, in 
which he says, I am unable to furnish the extract you require, as 
the original account rendered by you of your pecuniary transactions 
of a public nature in Europe, together with the vouchers and docu 
ments connected with it, were all destroyed in the Register s office in 
the memorable conflagration of 1814. With respect, therefore, to 
the sum of $1,148 in question, I can only say that, after full and re 
peated examinations, I considered you as most righteously and justly 
entitled to receive it. Otherwise, it will, I trust, be believed that I 
could not have consented to the re-payment. Considering the in 
timacy which the Native Virginian shows with the treasury affairs, we 
might be justified in suspecting that he knew this fact of the destruction 
of the original by fire when he ventured to misquote. But certainly 
we may call on him to say, and to show, from what original he copied 
these words: cash received from Grand ? I say, most assuredly, 
from none, for none such ever existed. Although the original be lost, 
which would have convicted him officially, it happens that when I 
made from my rough draft a fair copy of my account for the treasury, 
I took also, with a copying-machine, a press-copy of every page, which 
I kept for my own use. It is known that copies by this well-known 
machine are taken by impression on damp paper laid on the face of 
the written page while fresh, and passed between rollers as copper 
plates are. They must therefore be true fac similies. This press- 
copy now lies before me, has been shown to several persons, and will 
be shown to as many as wish or are willing to examine it; and this 
article of my account is entered in it in these words: 1789, Oct. i. 
By my bill on Willincks, Van Staphorsts & Hubbard for 2,800 florins, 
equal to 6,230 livres 18 sous. An inspection of the account, too, 
shows that whenever I received cash for a bill, it is uniformly entered 
by cash received of such an one, &c. ; but where a bill was drawn 
to constitute an item of account only, the entry is by my bill on, 
&c. Now to these very words cash received of Grand, not in my 
original but interpolated by himself, he constantly appeals as proofs 
of an acknowledgment under my own hand that I received the cash. 

236 The Writings of [1822 

us that General Starke is off at the age of 93. Charles 
Thomson still lives at about the same age, cheerful, 
slender as a grasshopper, and so much without 

In proof of this, I must request patience to read the following quota 
tions from his denunciations as standing in the Federal Republican 
of May 24: 

" Page 2, column 2, 1. 48 to 29 from the bottom, he [Mr. J.] admits 
in his account rendered in 1790 and settled in 1792, that he had re 
ceived the "cash," [placing the word cash between inverted commas to 
have it marked particularly as a quotation] that he had received the 
"cash" for the bill in question, and he does not directly deny it now. 
Will he, can he, in the face of his own declaration in writing to the 
contrary, publicly say that he did not receive the money for this 
bill in Europe? This is the point on which the whole matter rests, the 
pivot on which the arguments turn. If he did receive the money in 
Europe, (no matter whether at Cowes or at Paris,) he certainly had 
no right to receive it a second time from the public treasury of the 
United States. This is admitted I believe on all sides. Now, that 
he did receive the money in Europe on this bill, is proved by the ac 
knowledgment of the receiver himself, who credits the amount in his 
account as settled at the treasury thus: "cash received of Grand for 
bill on Willincks, Van Staphorsts, 2,876 gilders, 1,148 dollars." 

"Col. 3, 1. 28 to 21 from bottom. There is a plain difference in 
the phraseology of the account, from which an extract is given by 
Mr. J. as above, and that which he rendered to the Treasury. In the 
former he gives the credit thus, "By my bills on Willincks," &c. In 
the latter he states, "By cash received of Grand for bill on Willincks," 
&c. There is a difference, indeed, as he states it, but it is made 
solely by his own interpolation. 

" Col. 3,1. 8, from bottom. That Mr. Jefferson should, in the very 
teeth of the facts of the evidence before us, and in his own breast, 
gravely say that he had paid the money for this bill, and that there 
fore it was but just to return him the amount of it, when he had, by 
his own acknowledgment, sent it to Grand & Co., and received the 
money for it, is, I confess, not only matter of utter astonishment but 
regret. I spare myself the qualifications which these paragraphs 
may merit, leaving them to be applied by every reader according to 
the feelings they may excite in his own breast. 

He proceeds: And now to place this case beyond the reach of 
cavil or doubt, and to show most conclusively that he had negotiated 
this bill in Europe, and received the cash for it there, and that such 
was the understanding of the matter at the treasury in 1809, when 
he received the money. These are his own words. Col. 4, he 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 237 

memory that he scarcely recognizes the members of 
his household. An intimate friend of his called on 
him not long since; it was difficult to make him 

brings forward the overwhelming fact not hitherto made public but 
stated from the most creditable and authentic source, that one of 
the accounting officers of the treasury suggested in writing the pro 
priety of taking bond and security from Mr. J., for indemnification of 
the United States against any future claim on this bill. But it seems 
the bond was not taken, and the government is now liable in law, and 
in good faith for the payment of this bill to the rightful owner. 
How this suggestion of taking bond at the treasury, so solemnly 
paraded, is more conclusive proof than his own interpolation, that the 
cash was received, I am so dull as not to perceive ; but I say, that had 
the suggestion been made to me, it would have been instantly com 
plied with. But I deny his law. Were the bill now to be presented 
to the treasury, the answer would and should be the same as a mer 
chant would give: You have held up this bill three and thirty 
years without notice; we have settled in the meantime with the 
drawer, and have no effects of his left in our hands. Apply to him 
for payment. On his application to me, I should first inquire into 
the history of the bill ; where it had been lurking for three and thirty 
years? how came he by it? by interception? by trover? by assignment 
from Grand? by purchase? from whom, when and where? And ac 
cording to his answers I should either institute criminal process 
against him, or if he showed that all was fair and honest, I should 
pay him the money, and look for reimbursement to the quarter 
appearing liable. The law deems seven years absence of a man, 
without being heard of, such presumptive evidence of his death, as 
to distribute his estate, and to allow his wife to marry again. The 
Auditor thought that twenty years non-appearance of a bill which 
had been risked through the post-offices of two nations, was sufficient 
presumption of its loss. But this self-styled native of Virginia 
thinks that the thirty-three years now elapsed are not sufficient. 
Be it so. If the accounting officers of the treasury have any uneasi 
ness on that subject, I am ready to give a bond of indemnification to 
the United States in any sum the officers will name, and with the 
security which themselves shall approve. Will this satisfy the native 
Virginian? or will he now try to pick some other hole in this trans 
action, to shield himself from a candid acknowledgment, that in 
making up his case, he supplied by gratuitous conjectures, the facts 
which were not within his knowledge, and that thus he has sinned 
against truth in his declarations before the public? Be this as it 
may, I have so much confidence in the discernment and candor of 

238 The Writings of [1822 

recollect who he was, and, sitting one hour, he told 
him the same story four times over. Is this life? 

"With lab ring step 

To tread our former footsteps ? pace the round 
Eternal ? to beat and beat 
The beaten track? to see what we have seen, 
To taste the tasted? o er our palates to decant 
Another vintage ? " 

It is at most but the life of a cabbage; surely not 
worth a wish. When all our faculties have left, or 
are leaving us, one by one, sight, hearing, memory, 
every avenue of pleasing sensation is closed, and 
athumy, debility and malaise left in their places, 
when friends of our youth are all gone, and a genera 
tion is risen around us whom we know not, is 
death an evil? 

When one by one our ties are torn, 

And friend from friend is snatched forlorn, 

When man is left alone to mourn, 

Oh ! then how sweet it is to die ! 
When trembling limbs refuse their weight, 
And films slow gathering dim the sight, 
When clouds obscure the mental light 

T is nature s kindest boon to die! 

I really think so. I have ever dreaded a doting 
old age ; and my health has been generally so good, 
and is now so good, that I dread it still. The rapid 

my fellow-citizens, as to leave to their judgment, and dismiss from 
my own notice any future torture of words or circumstances which 
this writer may devise for their deception. Indeed, could such a 
denunciation, and on such proof, bereave me of that confidence and 
consolation, I should, through the remainder of life, brood over the 
afflicting belief that I had lived and labored in vain." 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 239 

decline of my strength during the last winter has 
made me hope sometimes that I see land. During 
summer I enjoy its temperature, but I shudder at 
the approach of winter, and wish I could sleep 
through it with the Dormouse, and only wake with 
him in spring, if ever. They say that Starke could 
walk about his room. I am told you walk well and 
firmly. I can only reach my garden, and that with 
sensible fatigue. I ride, however, daily. But read 
ing is my delight. I should wish never to put pen 
to paper; and the more because of the treacherous 
practice some people have of publishing one s 
letters without leave. Lord Mansfield declared it 
a breach of trust, and punishable at law. I think 
it should be a penitentiary felony; yet you will 
have seen that they have drawn me out into the 
arena of the newspapers; although I know it is too 
late for me to buckle on the armor of youth, yet my 
indignation would not permit me passively to receive 
the kick of an ass. 

To turn to the news of the day, it seems that the 
Cannibals of Europe are going to eating one another 
again. A war between Russia and Turkey is like the 
battle of the kite and snake. Whichever destroys 
the other, leaves a destroyer the less for the world. 
This pugnacious humor of mankind seems to be the 
law of his nature, one of the obstacles to too great 
multiplication provided in the mechanism of the 
Universe. The cocks of the henyard kill one another 
up. Bears, bulls, rams, do the same. And the 
horse, in his wild state, kills all the young males, 
until worn down with age and war, some vigorous 

240 The Writings of [1822 

youth kills him, and takes to himself the Harem of 
females. I hope we shall prove how much happier 
for man the Quaker policy is, and that the life of 
the feeder, is better than that of the fighter; and 
it is some consolation that the desolation by these 
maniacs of one part of the earth is the means of 
improving it in other parts. Let the latter be our 
office, and let us milk the cow, while the Russian 
holds her by the horns, and the Turk by the tail. 
God bless you, and give you health, strength, and 
good spirits, and as much of life as you think worth 
having. x 

1 In reply to a question from Adams, Jefferson further wrote: 

"MONTICELLO, June 27, 1822. 

" DEAR SIR, Your kind letter of the nth has given me great satis 
faction. For although I could not doubt but that the hand of age 
was pressing heavily on you, as on myself, yet we like to know the 
particulars and the degree of that pressure. Much reflection, too, 
has been produced by your suggestion of lending my letter of the ist, 
to a printer. I have generally great aversion to the insertion of my 
letters in the public papers; because of my passion for quiet retire 
ment, and never to be exhibited in scenes on the public stage. Nor 
am I unmindful of the precept of Horace, solver e senescentem, mature 
sanus equum, ne peccet ad extremum ridendus. In the present case, 
however, I see a possibility that this might aid in producing the very 
quiet after which I pant. I do not know how far you may suffer, as 
I do, under the persecution of letters, of which every mail brings a 
fresh load. They are letters of inquiry, for the most part, always of 
good will, sometimes from friends whom I esteem, but much oftener 
from persons whose names are unknown to me, but written kindly and 
civilly, and to which, therefore, civility requires answers. Perhaps, 
the better known failure of your hand in its function of writing, may 
shield you in greater degree from this distress, and so far qualify the 
misfortune of its disability. I happened to turn to my letter-list 
some time ago, and a curiosity was excited to count those received in 
a single year. It was the year before the last. I found the number 
to be one thousand two hundred and sixty-seven, many of them re 
quiring answers of elaborate research, and all to be answered with 
due attention and consideration. Take an average of this number 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 241 


MONTICELLO, June 26, 1822. 

DEAR SIR, I have received and read with thank 
fulness and pleasure your denunciation of the 
abuses of tobacco and wine. Yet, however sound 
in its principles, I expect it will be but a sermon to 
the wind. You will find it as difficult to inculcate 
these sanative precepts on the sensualities of the 
present day, as to convince an Athanasian that there 
is but one God. I wish success to both attempts, 
and am happy to learn from you that the latter, at 
least, is making progress, and the more rapidly in 
proportion as our Platonizing Christians make more 
stir and noise about it. The doctrines of Jesus are 
simple, and tend all to the happiness of man. 

i. That there is one only God, and he all perfect. 

for a week or a day, and I will repeat the question suggested by other 
considerations in mine of the ist. Is this life? At best it is but the 
life of a mill-horse, who sees no end to his circle but in death. To such 
a life, that of a cabbage is paradise. It occurs then, that my con 
dition of existence, truly stated in that letter, if better known, might 
check the kind indiscretions which are so heavily oppressing the de 
parting hours of life. Such a relief would, to me, be an ineffable 
blessing. But yours of the nth, equally interesting and affecting, 
should accompany that to which it is an answer. The two, taken 
together, would excite a joint interest, and place before our fellow- 
citizens the present condition of two ancient servants, who having 
faithfully performed their forty or fifty campaigns, stipendiis omnibus 
expletis, have a reasonable claim to repose from all disturbance in the 
sanctuary of invalids and superannuates. But some device should 
be thought of for their getting before the public otherwise than by 
our own publication. Your printer, perhaps, could frame something 
plausible. Thomson s name should be left blank, as his picture, 
should it meet his eye, might give him pain. I consign, however, the 
whole subject to your consideration, to do in it whatever your own 
judgment shall approve, and repeat always, with truth, the assurance 
of my constant and affectionate friendship and respect." 

VOL. XII. 16 

242 The Writings of [1822 

2. That there is a future state of rewards and 

3. That to love God with all thy heart and thy 
neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion. These 
are the great points on which he endeavored to re 
form the religion of the Jews. But compare with 
these the demoralizing dogmas of Calvin. 

1. That there are three Gods. 

2. That good works, or the love of our neighbor, 
are nothing. 

3. That faith is every thing, and the more incom 
prehensible the proposition, the more merit in its 

4. That reason in religion is of unlawful use. 

5. That God, from the beginning, elected certain 
individuals to be saved, and certain others to be 
damned; and that no crimes of the former can 
damn them; no virtues of the latter save. 

Now, which of these is the true and charitable 
Christian? He who believes and acts on the simple 
doctrines of Jesus? Or the impious dogmatists, as 
Athanasius and Calvin? Verily I say these are the 
false shepherds foretold as to enter not by the door 
into the sheepfold, but to climb up some other way. 
They are mere usurpers of the Christian name, teach 
ing a counter-religion made up of the deliria of 
crazy imaginations, as foreign from Christianity as 
is that of Mahomet. Their blasphemies have driven 
thinking men into infidelity, who have too hastily 
rejected the supposed author himself, with the 
horrors so falsely imputed to him. Had the doc 
trines of Jesus been preached always as pure as 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 243 

they came from his lips, the whole civilized world 
would now have been Christian. I rejoice that in 
this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which 
has surrendered its creed and conscience to neither 
kings nor priests, the genuine doctrine of one only 
God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a 
young man now living in the United States who 
will not die an Unitarian. 

But much I fear, that when this great truth shall 
be re-established, its votaries will fall into the fatal 
error of fabricating formulas of creed and con 
fessions of faith, the engines which so soon destroyed 
the religion of Jesus, and made of Christendom a 
mere Aceldama; that they will give up morals for 
mysteries, and Jesus for Plato. How much wiser 
are the Quakers, who, agreeing in the fundamental 
doctrines of the gospel, schismatize about no mys 
teries, and, keeping within the pale of common sense, 
suffer no speculative differences of opinion, any 
more than of feature, to impair the love of their 
brethren. Be this the wisdom of Unitarians, this 
the holy mantle which shall cover within its char 
itable circumference all who believe in one God, and 
who love their neighbor! I conclude my sermon 
with sincere assurances of my friendly esteem and 
respect. 1 

1 A second letter to Doctor Waterhouse read: 

"MONTICELLO, July IQ, l822. 

" DEAR SIR, An anciently dislocated, and now stiffening wrist, 
makes writing an operation so slow and painful to me, that I should 
not so soon have troubled you with an acknowledgment of your favor 
of the 8th, but for the request it contained of my consent to the 
publication of my letter of June the 2 6th. No, my dear Sir, not for 

244 The Writings of [1822 


MONTICELLO, July 5. 22. 

June 26. is just now received. After the delays of 

the world. Into what a nest of hornets would it thrust my head! 
the genus irritabile vatum, on whom argument is lost, and reason is, 
by themselves, disclaimed in matters of religion. Don Quixote 
undertook to redress the bodily wrongs of the world, but the redress- 
ment of mental vagaries would be an enterprise more than Quixotic. 
I should as soon undertake to bring the crazy skulls of Bedlam to 
sound understanding, as inculcate reason into that of an Athanasian. 
I am old, and tranquility is now my summum bonum. Keep me, 
therefore, from the fire and faggots of Calvin and his victim Servetus. 
Happy in the prospect of a restoration of primitive Christianity, I 
must leave to younger athletes to encounter and lop off the false 
branches which have been engrafted into it by the mythologists of 
the middle and modern ages. I am not aware of the peculiar re 
sistance to Unitarianism, which you ascribe to Pennsylvania. When 
I lived in Philadelphia, there was a respectable congregation of that 
sect, with a meeting-house and regular service which I attended, and 
in which Dr. Priestley officiated to numerous audiences. Baltimore 
has one or two churches, and their pastor, author of an inestimable 
book on this subject, was elected chaplain to the late Congress. That 
doctrine has not yet been preached to us : but the breeze begins to be 
felt which precedes the storm; and fanaticism is all in a bustle, shut 
ting its doors and windows to keep it out. But it will come, and 
drive before it the foggy mists of Platonism which have so long ob 
scured our atmosphere. I am in hopes that some of the disciples of 
your institution will become missionaries to us, of these doctrines 
truly evangelical, and open our eyes to what has been so long hidden 
from them. A bold and eloquent preacher would be nowhere listened 
to with more freedom than in this State, nor with more firmness of 
mind. They might need a preparatory discourse on the text of 
prove all things, hold fast that which is good, in order to unlearn 
the lesson that reason is an unlawful guide in religion. They might 
startle on being first awaked from the dreams of the night, but they 
would rub their eyes at once, and look the spectres boldly in the face. 
The preacher might be excluded by our hierophants from their churches 
and meeting-houses, but would be attended in the fields by whole 
acres of hearers and thinkers. Missionaries from Cambridge would 
soon be greeted with more welcome, than from the tritheistical school 
of Andover. Such are my wishes, such would be my welcomes, warm 
and cordial as the assurances of my esteem and respect for you." 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 245 

my last bond with which I have been indulged I 
consider it my bounden duty to obey the call for 
the principal whenever required. This delay was 
at first made convenient by the great revolution 
which took place in our circulating medium some 
time past; and the continuance of low markets 
since that period has not yet relieved the scarcity 
of medium so far as that fixed property can com 
mand even the half of what is it s value in regular 
times. My own annual income arises from the 
culture of tobacco and wheat. These articles, from 
the interior country cannot be got to market till 
the spring of the year ensuing their growth, and at 
that season alone the cultivator can pay from his 
produce. Still if the earlier term of 6. months be 
necessary for the affairs of the heirs of Mr. Van 
Staphorst, it shall be complied with by a sale of 
fixed property, altho it will double the debt. If 
on the other hand, consistently with their con 
venience, the indulgence can be continued until the 
ensuing spring, (say till May) it can then be paid 
without loss, and shall certainly be paid. This 
however is left to your kind consideration, and 
your final determination shall be my law, at any 
loss whatever. With the just acknolegement of 
the past indulgencies, accept the assurance of my 
great esteem and respect. 1 

1 A year later, Jefferson wrote: 

"MONTICELLO, July 8, 23. 

" MESSRS. LEROY AND BAYARD, You have reason to believe I am 
unmindful that I ought ere this to have remitted you the amount of 
my last bond ; but it is duly in mind altho delayed. My resources for 
payment as stated to you on former occasions, are the produce of my 

246 The Writings of [1822 


MONTICELLO, Oct: 27. 22. 

DEAR SIR, I have deferred my thanks for the 
copy of your Life of Genl. Greene, until I could have 
time to read it. This I have done, and with the 
greatest satisfaction; and can now more under- 
standingly express the gratification it has afforded 
me. I really rejoice that we have at length a fair 
history of the Southern war. It proves how much 
we were left to defend ourselves as we could, while 
the resources of the Union were so disproportion 
ately devoted to the North. I am glad too to see 
the Romance of Lee removed from the shelf of 
History to that of Fable. Some small portion of 
the transactions he relates were within my own 
knolege ; and of these I can say he has given more 
falsehood than fact ; and I have heard many officers 
declare the same as to what had passed under their 
eyes. Yet this book had begun to be quoted as 
history. Greene was truly a great man, he had not 
perhaps all the qualities which so peculiarly ren 
dered Genl. Washington the fittest man on earth 
for directing so great a contest under so great 
difficulties. Difficulties proceeding not from luke- 
warmness in our citizens or their functionaries, as our 
military leaders supposed; but from the pennyless 

farms. They have usually got to Richmond in June : but are tardier 
this year than ever. Calculating the passage of my tobacco down the 
river and time for inspection and sale, I shall be able to remit you one 
half the amount by the end of this month, and the other half soon 
after. I have thought it a duty to remove suspense on the subject. 
Always acknoleging the kindness of your indulgence I salute you ever 
with friendship and respect." 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 247 

condition of a people, totally shut out from all 
commerce & intercourse with the world, and there 
fore without any means for converting their labor 
into money. But Greene was second to no one in 
enterprise, in resource, in sound judgment, prompti 
tude of decision, and every other military talent. 
In addition to the work you have given us, I look 
forward with anxiety to that you promise in the 
last paragraph of your book. Lee s military fable 
you have put down. Let not the invidious libel on 
the views of the Republican party, and on their 
regeneration of the government go down to posterity 
as hypocritically masked. I was myself too labor 
iously employed, while in office, and too old when 
I left it, to do justice to those who had labored so 
faithfully to arrest our course towards monarchy, 
and to secure the result of our revolutionary suffer 
ings and sacrifices in a government bottomed on the 
only safe basis, the elective will of the people. You 
are young enough for the task, and I hope you will 
undertake it. 

There is a subject respecting the practice of the 
court of which you are a member, which has long 
weighed on my mind, on which I have long thought 
I would write to you, and which I will take this op 
portunity of doing. It is in truth a delicate under 
taking, & yet such is my opinion of your candor 
and devotedness to the Constitution, in it s true 
spirit, that I am sure I shall meet your appiobation 
in unbosoming myself to you. The subject of my 
uneasiness is the habitual mode of making up and 
delivering the opinions of the supreme court of the US. 

248 The Writings of [1822 

You know that from the earliest ages of the Eng 
lish law, from the date of the year-books, at least, to 
the end of the lid George, the judges of England, in 
all but self-evident cases, delivered their opinions 
seriatim, with the reasons and authorities which 
governed their decisions. If they sometimes con 
sulted together, and gave a general opinion, it was 
so rarely as not to excite either alarm or notice. 
Besides the light which their separate arguments 
threw on the subject, and the instruction com 
municated by their several modes of reasoning, it 
shewed whether the judges were unanimous or di 
vided, and gave accordingly more or less weight to 
the judgment as a precedent. It sometimes hap 
pened too that when there were three opinions 
against one, the reasoning of the one was so much 
the most cogent as to become afterwards the law of 
the land. When Ld. Mansfield came to the bench 
he introduced the habit of caucusing opinions. The 
judges met at their chambers, or elsewhere, secluded 
from the presence of the public, and made up what 
was to be delivered as the opinion of the court. On 
the retirement of Mancfield, Ld. Kenyon put an end 
to the practice, and the judges returned to that of 
seriatim opinions, and practice it habitually to this 
day, I believe. I am not acquainted with the late 
reporters, do not possess them, and state the fact 
from the information of others. To come now to 
ourselves I know nothing of what is done in other 
states, but in this our great and good Mr. Pendleton 
was, after the revolution, placed at the head of 
the court of Appeals. He adored Ld. Mansfield, & 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 249 

considered him as the greatest luminary of law that 
any age had ever produced, and he introduced into 
the court over which he presided, Mansfield s practice 
of making up opinions in secret & delivering them 
as the Oracles of the court, in mass. Judge Roane, 
when he came to that bench, broke up the practice, 
refused to hatch judgments, in Conclave, or to let 
others deliver opinions for him. At what time the 
seriatim opinions ceased in the supreme Court of 
the US., I am not informed. They continued I 
know to the end of the 3d Dallas in 1800. Later 
than which I have no Reporter of that court. About 
that time the present C. J. came to the bench. 
Whether he carried the practice of Mr. Pendleton 
to it, or who, or when I do not know; but I under 
stand from others it is now the habit of the court, 
& I suppose it true from the cases sometimes re 
ported in the newspapers, and others which I casu 
ally see, wherein I observe that the opinions were 
uniformly prepared in private. Some of these cases 
too have been of such importance, of such difficulty, 
and the decisions so grating to a portion of the public 
as to have merited the fullest explanation from 
every judge seriatim, of the reasons which had 
produced such convictions on his mind. It was 
interesting to the public to know whether these 
decisions were really unanimous, or might not per 
haps be of 4. against 3. and consequently prevailing 
by the preponderance of one voice only. The 
Judges holding their offices for life are under two 
responsibilities only. i. Impeachment. 2. Indi 
vidual reputation. But this practice compleatly 

250 The Writings of [1822 

withdraws them from both. For nobody knows 
what opinion any individual member gave in any 
case, nor even that he who delivers the opinion, con 
curred in it himself. Be the opinion therefore ever 
so impeachable, having been done in the dark it 
can be proved on no one. As to the 26. guaran 
tee, personal reputation, it is shielded compleatly. 
The practice is certainly convenient for the lazy, 
the modest & the incompetent. It saves them the 
trouble of developing their opinion methodically and 
even of making up an opinion at all. That of 
seriatim argument shews whether every judge has 
taken the trouble of understanding the case, of in 
vestigating it minutely, and of forming an opinion 
for himself, instead of pinning it on another s sleeve. 
It would certainly be right to abandon this practice 
in order to give to our citizens one and all, that con 
fidence in their judges which must be so desirable to 
the judges themselves, and so important to the 
cement of the union. During the administration 
of Genl. Washington, and while E. Randolph was 
Attorney General, he was required by Congress to 
digest the judiciary laws into a single one, with such 
amendments as might be thought proper. He pre 
pared a section requiring the Judges to give their 
opinions seriatim, in writing, to be recorded in a 
distinct volume. Other business prevented this bill 
from being taken up, and it passed off, but such a 
volume would have been the best possible book of 
reports, and the better, as unincumbered with the 
hired sophisms and perversions of Counsel. 

What do you think of the state of parties at this 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 251 

time? An opinion prevails that there is no longer 
any distinction, that the republicans & Federalists 
are compleatly amalgamated but it is not so. The 
amalgamation is of name only, not of principle. 
All indeed call themselves by the name of Republi 
cans, because that of Federalists was extinguished 
in the battle of New Orleans. But the truth is that 
finding that monarchy is a desperate wish in this 
country, they rally to the point which they think 
next best, a consolidated government. Their aim 
is now therefore to break down the rights reserved 
by the constitution to the states as a bulwark 
against that consolidation, the fear of which pro 
duced the whole of the opposition to the constitution 
at it s birth. Hence new Republicans in Congress, 
preaching the doctrines of the old Federalists, and 
the new nick -names of Ultras and Radicals. But 
I trust they will fail under the new, as the old name, 
and that the friends of the real constitution and 
union will prevail against consolidation, as they have 
done against monarchism. I scarcely know myself 
which is most to be deprecated, a consolidation, or 
dissolution of the states. The horrors of both are 
beyond the reach of human foresight. 

I have written you a long letter, and committed 
to you thoughts which I would do to few others. 
If I am right, you will approve them; if wrong, 
commiserate them as the dreams of a Superannuate 
about things from which he is to derive neither good 
nor harm. But you will still receive them as a 
proof of my confidence in the rectitude of your mind 
and principles, of which I pray you to receive entire 

252 The Writings of [1822 

assurance with that of my continued and great 
friendship and respect. 1 

1 Jefferson further wrote to Johnson on this subject: 

" MONTICELLO, June 12, 1823. 

" DEAR SIR, Our correspondence is of that accommodating char 
acter, which admits of suspension at the convenience of either party, 
without inconvenience to the other. Hence this tardy acknowledg 
ment of your favor of April the nth. I learn from that with great 
pleasure, that you have resolved on continuing your history of parties. 
Our opponents are far ahead of us in preparations for placing their 
cause favorably before posterity. Yet I hope even from some of 
them the escape of precious truths, in angry explosions or effusions of 
vanity, which will betray the genuine monarchism of their principles. 
They do not themselves believe what they endeavor to inculcate, that 
we were an opposition party, not on principle, but merely seeking 
for office. The fact is, that at the formation of our government, 
many had formed their political opinions on European writings and 
practices, believing the experience of old countries, and especially of 
England, abusive as it was, to be a safer guide than mere theory. 
The doctrines of Europe were, that men in numerous associations 
cannot be restrained within the limits of order and justice, but by 
forces physical and moral, wielded over them by authorities inde 
pendent of their will. Hence their organization of kings, hereditary 
nobles, and priests. Still further to constrain the brute force of the 
people, they deem it necessary to keep them down by hard labor, 
poverty and ignorance, and to take from them, as from bees, so much 
of their earnings, as that unremitting labor shall be necessary to obtain 
a sufficient surplus barely to sustain a scanty and miserable life. And 
these earnings they apply to maintain their privileged orders in 
splendor and idleness, to fascinate the eyes of the people, and excite 
in them an humble adoration and submission, as to an order of superior 
beings. Although few among us had gone all these lengths of opinion, 
yet many had advanced, some more, some less, on the way. And in 
the convention which formed our government, they endeavored to 
draw the cords of power as tight as they could obtain them, to lessen 
the dependence of the general functionaries on their constituents, to 
subject to them those of the States, and to weaken their means of 
maintaining the steady equilibrium which the majority of the con 
vention had deemed salutary for both branches, general and local. 
To recover, therefore, in practice the powers which the nation had 
refused, and to warp to their own wishes those actually given, was the 
steady object of the federal party. Ours, on the contrary, was to 
maintain the will of the majority of the convention, and of the people 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 253 


MONTICELLO, Oct. 28, 22. 

I will not, my dear friend, undertake to quote 
by their dates the several letters you have written 
me. They have been proofs of your continued friend 
ship to me, and my silence is no evidence of any 

themselves. We believed, with them, that man was a rational 
animal, endowed by nature with rights, and with an innate sense of 
justice; and that he could be restrained from wrong and protected 
in right, by moderate powers, confided to persons of his own choice, 
and held to their duties by dependence on his own will. We believed 
that the complicated organization of kings, nobles, and priests, was not 
the wisest nor best to effect the happiness of associated man; that 
wisdom and virtue were not hereditary; that the trappings of such 
a machinery, consumed by their expense, those earnings of industry, 
they were meant to protect, and, by the inequalities they produced, 
exposed liberty to sufferance. We believed that men, enjoying in 
ease and security the full fruits of their own industry, enlisted by all 
their interests on the side of law and order, habituated to think for 
themselves, and to follow their reason as their guide, would be more 
easily and safely governed, than with minds nourished in error, and 
vitiated and debased, as in Europe, by ignorance, indigence and op 
pression. The cherishment of the people then was our principle, the 
fear and distrust of them, that of the other party. Composed, as we 
were, of the landed and laboring interests of the country, we could not 
be less anxious for a government of law and order than were the in 
habitants of the cities, the strongholds of federalism. And whether 
our efforts to save the principles and form of our constitution have 
not been salutary, let the present republican freedom, order and 
prosperity of our country determine. History may distort truth, 
and will distort it for a time, by the superior efforts at justification of 
those who are conscious of needing it most. Nor will the opening 
scenes of our present government be seen in their true aspect, until 
the letters of the day, now held in private hoards, shall be broken up 
and laid open to public view. What a treasure will be found in 
General Washington s cabinet, when it shall pass into the hands of as 
candid a friend to truth as he was himself! When no longer, like 
Caesar s notes and memorandums in the hands of Anthony, it shall be 
open to the high priests of federalism only, and garbled to say so 
much, and no more, as suits their views! 

With respect to his farewell address, to the authorship of which, it 

254 The Writings of [1822 

abatement of mine to you. That can never be while I 
have breath and recollections so dear to me. Among 
the few survivors of our revolutionary struggles, you 
are as distinguished in my affections, as in the eyes 
of the world, & especially in those of this country. 
You are now, I believe, the Doyen of our military 

seems, there are conflicting claims, I can state to you some facts. He 
had determined to decline re-election at the end of his first term, and 
so far determined, that he had requested Mr. Madison to prepare for 
him something valedictory, to be addressed to his constituents on his 
retirement. This was done, but he was finally persuaded to acquiesce 
in a second election, to which no one more strenuously pressed him 
than myself, from a conviction of the importance of strengthening, by 
longer habit, the respect necessary for that office, which the weight 
of his character only could effect. When, at the end of his second 
term, his Valedictory came out, Mr. Madison recognized in it several 
passages of his draught, several others, we were both satisfied, were 
from the pen of Hamilton, and others from that of the President him 
self. These he probably put into the hands of Hamilton to form into 
a whole, and hence it may all appear in Hamilton s hand-writing, as 
if it were all of his composition. 

I have stated above, that the original objects of the federalists 
were, ist, to warp our government more to the form and principles of 
monarchy, and, 2d, to weaken the barriers of the State governments 
as coordinate powers. In the first they have been so completely 
foiled by the universal spirit of the nation, that they have abandoned 
the enterprise, shrunk from the odium of their old appellation, taken 
to themselves a participation of ours, and under the pseudo-republican 
mask, are now aiming at their second object, and strengthened by un 
suspecting or apostate recruits from our ranks, are advancing fast 
towards an ascendancy. I have been blamed for saying, that a 
prevalence of the doctrines of consolidation would one day call for 
reformation or revolution. I answer by asking if a single State of the 
Union would have agreed to the constitution, had it given all powers 
to the General Government? If the whole opposition to it did not 
proceed from the jealousy and fear of every State, of being subjected 
to the other States in matters merely its own? And if there is any 
reason to believe the States more disposed now than then, to acquiesce 
in this general surrender of all their rights and powers to a consolidated 
government, one and undivided? 

You request me confidentially, to examine the question, whether 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 255 

heroes, & may I not say of the soldiers of liberty in 
the world ? We differ in this. My race is run ; while 
you have three good lustres yet to reach my time; 
& these may give you much to do. Weighed down 
with years, I am still more disabled from writing 
by a wrist & fingers almost without joints. This has 

the Supreme Court has advanced beyond its constitutional limits, 
and trespassed on those of the State authorities? I do not under 
take it, my dear Sir, because I am unable. Age and the wane of 
mind consequent on it, have disqualified me from investigations so 
severe, and researches so laborious. And it is the less necessary in 
this case, as having been already done by others with a logic and 
learning to which I could add nothing. On the decision of the case 
of Cohens vs. The State of Virginia, in the Supreme Court of the 
United States, in March, 1821, Judge Roane, under the signature of 
Algernon Sidney, wrote for the Enquirer a series of papers on the law 
of that case. I considered these papers maturely as they came out, 
and confess that they appeared to me to pulverize every word which 
had been delivered by Judge Marshall, of the extra-judicial part of 
his opinion; and all was extra-judicial, except the decision that the 
act of Congress had not purported to give to the corporation of Wash 
ington the authority claimed by their lottery law, of controlling the 
laws of the States within the States themselves. But unable to claim 
that case, he could not let it go entirely, but went on gratuitously to 
prove, that notwithstanding the eleventh amendment of the consti 
tution, a State could be brought as a defendant, to the bar of his 
court; and again, that Congress might authorize a corporation of its 
territory to exercise legislation within a State, and paramount to the 
laws of that State. I cite the sum and result only of his doctrines, 
according to the impression made on my mind at the time, and still 
remaining. If not strictly accurate in circumstance, it is so in sub 
stance. This doctrine was so completely refuted by Roane, that if 
he can be answered, I surrender human reason as a vain and useless 
faculty, given to bewilder, and not to guide us. And I mention this 
particular case as one only of several, because it gave occasion to that 
thorough examination of the constitutional limits between the General 
and State jurisdictions, which you have asked for. There were two 
other writers in the same paper, under the signatures of Fletcher of 
Saltoun, and Somers, who, in a few essays, presented some very 
luminous and striking views of the question. And there was a par 
ticular paper which recapitulated all the cases in which it was thought 

256 The Writings of [1822 

obliged me to withdraw from all correspondence that 
is not indispensable. I have written, for a long 
time, to none of my foreign friends, because I am 
really unable to do it. I owe them therefore 
apologies, or rather truths. Will you be my ad 
vocate with those who complain and especially with 

the federal court had usurped on the State jurisdictions. These 
essays will be found in the Enquirers of 1821, from May the loth to 
July the 1 3th. It is not in my present power to send them to you, 
but if Ritchie can furnish them, I will procure and forward them. If 
they had been read in the other States, as they were here, I think 
they would have left, there as here, no dissentients from their doc 
trine. The subject was taken up by our legislature of 1821- 22, and 
two draughts of remonstrances were prepared and discussed. As 
well as I remember, there was no difference of opinion as to the matter 
of right ; but there was as to the expediency of a remonstrance at that 
time, the general mind of the States being then under extraordinary 
excitement by the Missouri question; and it was dropped on that 
consideration. But this case is not dead, it only sleepeth. The 
Indian Chief said he did not go to war for every petty injury by itself, 
but put it into his pouch, and when that was full, he then made war. 
Thank Heaven, we have provided a more peaceable and rational mode 
of redress. 

This practice of Judge Marshall, of travelling out of his case to 
prescribe what the law would be in a moot case not before the court, 
is very irregular and very censurable. I recollect another instance, 
and the more particularly, perhaps, because it in some measure bore 
on myself. Among the midnight appointments of Mr. Adams, were 
commissions to some federal justices of the peace for Alexandria. 
These were signed and sealed by him, but not delivered. I found 
them on the table of the department of State, on my entrance into 
office, and I forbade their delivery. Marbury, named in one of them, 
applied to the Supreme Court for a mandamus to the Secretary of 
State, (Mr. Madison) to deliver the commission intended for him. 
The court determined at once, that being an original process, they 
had no cognizance of it; and therefore the question before them 
was ended. But the Chief Justice went on to lay down what the 
law would be, had they jurisdiction of the case, to wit: that they 
should command the delivery. The object was clearly to instruct any 
other court having the jurisdiction, what they should do if Marbury 
should apply to them. Besides the impropriety of this gratuitous 

1 82 2] Thomas Jefferson 257 

Mr. Tracy, who I hope is in the recovery of health, 
& enabled to continue his invaluable labors. 

On the affairs of your hemisphere I have two 
reasons for saying little. The one that I know little 
of them. The other that, having thought alike 
thro our lives, my sentiments, if intercepted, might 

interference, could anything exceed the perversion of law? For if there 
is any principle of law never yet contradicted, it is that delivery is 
one of the essentials to the validity of the deed. Although signed 
and sealed, yet as long as it remains in the hands of the party him 
self, it is in fieri only, it is not a deed, and can be made so only by 
its delivery. In the hands of a third person it may be made an es 
crow. But whatever is in the executive offices is certainly deemed 
to be in the hands of the President ; and in this case, was actually in 
my hands, because, when I countermanded them, there was as yet no 
Secretary of State. Yet this case of Marbury and Madison is con 
tinually cited by bench and bar, as if it were settled law, without any 
animadversion on its being merely an obiter dissertation of the Chief 

It may be impracticable to lay down any general formula of words 
which shall decide at once, and with precision, in every case, this 
limit of jurisdiction. But there are two canons which will guide us 
safely in most of the cases, ist. The capital and leading object of 
the constitution was to leave with the States all authorities which re 
spected their own citizens only, and to transfer to the United States 
those which respected citizens of foreign or other States: to make 
us several as to ourselves, but one as to all others. In the latter case, 
then, constructions should lean to the general jurisdiction, if the 
words will bear it ; and in favor of the States in the former, if possible 
to be so construed. And indeed, between citizens and citizens of the 
same State, and under their own laws, I know but a single case in 
which a jurisdiction is given to the General Government. That is, 
where anything but gold or silver is made a lawful tender, or the 
obligation of contracts is any otherwise impaired. The separate 
legislatures had so often abused that power, that the citizens them 
selves chose to trust it to the general, rather than to their own special 
authorities, ad. On every question of construction, carry ourselves 
back to the time when the constitution was adopted, recollect the 
spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning 
may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to 
the probable one in which it was passed. Let us try Cohen s case 

VOL. XII. 17. 

258 The Writings of [1822 

be imputed to you, as reflections of your own. I 
will hazard therefore but the single expression of 
assurance that this general insurrection of the world 
against it s tyrants will ultimately prevail by point 
ing the object of government to the happiness of the 
people and not merely to that of their self -constituted 

by these canons only, referring always, however, for full argument, 
to the essays before cited. 

" i. It was between a citizen and his own State, and under a law of 
his State. It was a domestic case, therefore, and not a foreign one. 

"2. Can it be believed, that under the jealousies prevailing against 
the General Government, at the adoption of the constitution, the 
States meant to surrender the authority of preserving order, of en 
forcing moral duties and restraining vice, within their own territory? 
And this is the present case, that of Cohen being under the ancient 
and general law of gaming. Can any good be effected by taking 
from the States the moral rule of their citizens, and subordinating 
it to the general authority, or to one of their corporations, which 
may justify forcing the meaning of words, hunting after possible 
constructions, and hanging inference on inference, from heaven to 
earth, like Jacob s ladder? Such an intention was impossible, and 
such a licentiousness of construction and inference, if exercised by 
both governments, as may be done with equal right, would equally 
authorize both to claim all power, general and particular, and break 
up the foundations of the Union. Laws are made for men of ordinary 
understanding, and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary 
rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in 
metaphysical subtleties, which may make anything mean everything 
or nothing, at pleasure. It should be left to the sophisms of advo 
cates, whose trade it is, to prove that a defendant is a plaintiff, though 
dragged into court, torto collo, like Bonaparte s volunteers, into the 
field in chains, or that a power has been given, because it ought to 
have been given, et alia talia, The States supposed that by their tenth 
amendment, they had secured themselves against constructive 
powers. They were not lessoned yet by Cohen s case, nor aware of 
the slipperiness of the eels of the law. I ask for no straining of words 
against the General Government, nor yet against the States. I 
believe the States can best govern our home concerns, and the General 
Government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore, to see maintained 
that wholesome distribution of powers established by the constitution 
for the limitation of both; and never to see all offices transferred to 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 259 

governors. On our affairs little can be expected 
from an Octogenary, retired within the recesses of 
the mountains, going nowhere, seeing nobody but 
his own house, & reading a single newspaper only, 
& that chiefly for the sake of the advertisements. 
I dare say you see & read as many of them as I do. 
You will have seen how prematurely they have 

Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, 
they may more secretly be bought and sold as at market. 

" But the Chief Justice says, there must be an ultimate arbiter 
somewhere. True, there must; but does that prove it is either 
party? The ultimate arbiter is the people of the Union, assembled 
by their deputies in convention, at the call of Congress, or of two- 
thirds of the States. Let them decide to which they mean to give an 
authority claimed by two of their organs. And it has been the 
peculiar wisdom and felicity of our constitution, to have provided 
this peaceable appeal, where that of other nations is at once to force. 

" I rejoice in the example you set of seriatim opinions. I have heard 
it often noticed, and always with high approbation. Some of your 
brethren will be encouraged to follow it occasionally, and in time, it 
may be felt by all as a duty, and the sound practice of the primitive 
court be again restored. Why should not every judge be asked his 
opinion, and give it from the bench, if only by yea or nay? Besides 
ascertaining the fact of his opinion, which the public have a right to 
know, in order to judge whether it is impeachable or not, it would 
show whether the opinions were unanimous or not, and thus settle 
more exactly the weight of their authority. 

" The close of my second sheet warns me that it is time now to relieve 
you from this letter of unmerciful length. Indeed, I wonder how I 
have accomplished it, with two crippled wrists, the one scarcely able 
to move my pen, the other to hold my paper. But I am hurried 
sometimes beyond the sense of pain, when unbosoming myself to 
friends who harmonize with me in principle. You and I may differ 
occasionally in details of minor consequence, as no two minds, more 
than two faces, are the same in every feature. But our general 
objects are the same, to preserve the republican form and principles 
of our constitution and cleave to the salutary distribution of powers 
which that has established. These are the two sheet anchors of our 
Union. If driven from either, we shall be in danger of foundering. 
To my prayers for its safety and perpetuity, I add those for the con 
tinuation of your health, happiness, and usefulness to your country." 

260 The Writings of [1822 

begun to agitate us with the next presidential elec 
tion. Many candidates are named : but they will be 
reduced to two, Adams & Crawford. Party prin 
ciples, as heretofore will have their weight, but the 
papers tell you there are no parties now, republicans 
and federalists forsooth are all amalgamated. This, 
my friend, is not so. The same parties exist now 
which existed before. But the name of Federalist 
was extinguished in the battle of New Orleans ; and 
those who wore it now call themselves republicans. 
Like the fox pursued by the dogs, they take shelter 
in the midst of the sheep. They see that monarch- 
ism is a hopeless wish in this country, and are 
rallying anew to the next best point a consolidated 
government. They are therefore endeavouring to 
break down the barriers of the state rights, provided 
by the constitution against a consolidation. Hence 
you will see in the debates of Congress these new re 
publicans maintaining the most ultra doctrines of 
the old federalists. This new metamorphosis is the 
only clue which will enable you to understand these 
strange appearances. They will become more pro 
minent in the ensuing discussions. One candidate 
is supposed to be a consolidationist, the other a 
republican of the old school, a friend to the consti 
tutional organization of the government, and be 
lieving that the strength of the members can alone 
give real strength to the body. And this is the 
sentiment of the nation, and will probably prevail 
if the principle of the Missouri question should not 
mingle itself with those of the election. Should it do 
so, all will be uncertain. This uncertainty however 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 261 

gives me no uneasiness. Both are able men, both 
honest men, and whatever be the bias, the good sense 
of our people will direct the boat ultimately to it s 
proper point. 

I learn with great pleasure that you enjoy good 
health. Mine is also good altho I am very weak. I 
cannot walk further than my garden without fatigue. 
But I am still able to ride on horseback, and it is my 
only exercise. That your life may be continued in 
health and happiness to the term of your own wishes 
is the fervent prayer of your constant and affection 
ate friend. 


MONTICELLO, October 29, 1822. 

DEAR SIR, After a long silence, I salute you with 
affection. The weight of eighty years pressing 
heavily upon me, with a wrist and fingers almost 
without joints, I write as little as possible, because 
I do it with pain and labor. I retain, however, still 
the same affection for my friends, and especially for 
my ancient colleagues, which I ever did, and the 
same wishes for their happiness. Your treaty has 
been received here with universal gladness. It was 
indeed a strange quarrel, like that of two pouting 
lovers, and a pimp filching both; it was nuts for 
England. When I liken them to lovers, I speak of 
the people, not of their governments. Of the cor 
dial love of one of these the Holy Alliance may 
know more than I do. I will confine myself to our 
own affairs. You have seen in our papers how 

262 The Writings of [1822 

prematurely they are agitating the question of the 
next President. This proceeds from some uneasi 
ness at the present state of things. There is consider 
able dissatisfaction with the increase of the public 
expenses, and especially with the necessity of bor 
rowing money in time of peace. This was much 
arraigned at the last session of Congress, and will 
be more so at the next. The misfortune is that the 
persons most looked to as successors in the govern 
ment are of the President s Cabinet; and their par 
tisans in Congress are making a handle of these 
things to help, or hurt those for or against whom 
they are. The candidates, ins and outs, seem at 
present to be many; but they will be reduced to 
two, a Northern and Southern one, as usual; to 
judge of the event the state of parties must be 
understood. You are told, indeed, that there are 
no longer parties among us; that they are all now 
amalgamated; the lion and the lamb lie down to 
gether in peace. Do not believe a word of it. The 
same parties exist now as ever did. No longer, 
indeed, under the name of Republicans and Federal 
ists. The latter name was extinguished in the 
battle of Orleans. Those who wore it, finding mon- 
archism a desperate wish in this country, are rally 
ing to what they deem the next best point, a 
consolidated government. Although this is not yet 
avowed (as that of monarchism, you know, never 
was), it exists decidedly, and is the true key to 
the debates in Congress, wherein you see many 
calling themselves Republicans and preaching the 
rankest doctrines of the old Federalists. One of the 

1 82 2] Thomas Jefferson 263 

prominent candidates is presumed to be of this party ; 
and the other a Republican of the old school and a 
friend of the barrier of States rights, as provided by 
the Constitution against the danger of consolidation, 
which danger was the principal ground of opposi 
tion to it at its birth. Pennsylvania and New York 
will decide this question. If the Missouri principle 
mixes itself in the question, it will go one way; if 
not it may go the other. Among the smaller 
motives, hereditary fears may alarm one side, and 
the long line of local nativities on the other. In this 
division of parties the judges are true to their an 
cient vocation of sappers and miners. 

Our University of Virginia, my present hobby, has 
been at a stand for a twelve -month past for want of 
funds. Our last Legislature refused anything. The 
late elections give better hopes of the next. The 
institution is so far advanced that it will force itself 
through. So little is now wanting that the first 
liberal Legislature will give it its last lift. The 
buildings are in a style of purely classical architect 
ure, and, although not yet finished, are become an 
object of visit to all strangers. Our intention is 
that its professors shall be of the first order in their 
respective lines which can be procured on either side 
of the Atlantic. Sameness of language will prob 
ably direct our applications chiefly to Edinburgh. 

I place some letters under the protection of your 
cover. You will be so good as to judge whether 
that address to Lodi will go more safely through the 
public mail or by any of the diplomatic couriers, 
liable to the curiosity and carelessness of public 

264 The Writings of [1822 

officers. Accept the assurances of my constant and 
affectionate friendship and respect. 



MONTICELLO, Oct. 31. 22. 

DEAR SIR, Your letter of Aug. 31, dated so soon 
after your departure gave me hopes that the suffer 
ings at sea of Mrs. Dearborn and yourself, if any, 
had been short. I hope you will both find Lisbon a 
pleasant residence. I have heard so much of it s 
climate that I suppose that alone will go far towards 
making it so ; and should the want of the language 
of the country lessen the enjoyment of it s society, 
this will be considerably supplied by the numbers 
you will find there who speak your own language. 
Take into the account also that you will escape the 
two years agitation just commencing with us. Even 
before you had left us our newspapers had already 
begun to excite the question of the next president. 
They are advancing fast into it. Many candidates 
are named, but they will settle down, as is believed, 
to Adams and Crawford. If the Missouri principle 
should mingle itself with the party divisions the re 
sult will be very doubtful. For altho it is pre 
tended there are no longer any parties among us, that 
all are amalgamated, yet the fact is that the same 
parties exist now that ever existed, not indeed under 
the old names of Republicans and Federalists. The 
Hartford Convention and battle of New Orleans 

1 From a copy courteously furnished by Dr. J. S. H. Fogg of Boston. 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 265 

extinguished the latter name. All now call them 
selves republicans, as the fox when pursued by dogs 
takes shelter in the midst of the sheep. Finding 
monarchy desperate here, they rally to their next 
hope, a consolidated government, and altho they do 
not avow it (as they never did monarchism) yet it is 
manifestly their next object. 

Hence you see so many of these new republicans 
maintaining in Congress the rankest doctrines of 
the old federalists. The judges aid in their old way 
as sappers and miners. One of the candidates is 
supposed to be a Consolidationist, the, other for 
maintaining the banner of state rights as provided 
by the constitution against the fear of Consolidation. 

Our Virginia University is now my sole occupa 
tion. It is within sight of Monticello, and the 
buildings nearly finished, and we shall endeavor, by 
the best Professors either side of the Atlantic can 
furnish to make it worthy of the public notice. 
Strange as the idea may seem, I sincerely think that 
the prominent characters of the country where you 
are could not better prepare their sons for the duties 
they will have to perform in their new government 
than by sending them here where they might become 
familiarised with the habits and practice of self- 
government. This lesson is scarcely to be acquired 
but in this country, and yet without it, the political 
vessel is all sail and no ballast. 

I have a friend, of Portugal, in whose welfare I 
feel great interest, but whether now there, or where, 
I know not. It is the Abbe Correa who past some 
years in the U. S. and was a part of the time the 

266 The Writings of [1822 

Minister of Portugal at Washington. He left it 
under an appointment to the cabinet -council of Rio 
Janeiro, taking his passage thither by the way of 
England. While at London or Paris he would have 
heard that the King and court had returned to 
Lisbon; and what he did next is unknown here. 
He writes to none of his friends, & yet there is no 
one on whose behalf his friends feel a more lively 
solicitude, or wish more to hear of or from. If at 
Lisbon, and it should ever fall in your way to render 
him a service or kindness, I should consider it as more 
than if done to myself. If things go unfavorably to 
him there, he would be received with joy into our 
University, and would certainly find it a comfort 
able and lucrative retirement. Should he be in 
Lisbon, be so good as to say so to him. Say to Mrs. 
Dearborn also, how much she possesses the affection 
and respect of the whole family at Monticello, and 
accept for yourself the assurance of my constant 
friendship & respect. 


MONTICELLO, November i, 1822. 

DEAR SIR, I have racked my memory and ran 
sacked my papers, to enable myself to answer the in 
quiries of your favor of October 15 th ; but to little pur 
pose. 1 My papers furnish me nothing, my memory, 

1 Adams letter to Jefferson was as follows : 

" October 15, 1822. 

" DEAR SIR, I have long entertained scruples about writing this 
letter, upon a subject of some delicacy. But old age has overcome 
them at last. 

" You remember the four ships ordered by Congress to be built, and 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 267 

generalities only. I know that while I was in Eu 
rope, and anxious about the fate of our seafaring 
men, for some of whom, then in captivity in Algiers, 
we were treating, and all were in like danger, I 
formed, undoubtingly, the opinion that our govern 
ment, as soon as practicable, should provide a naval 
force sufficient to keep theBarbary States in order; 
and on this subject we communicated together, as 
you observe. When I returned to the United States 
and took part in the administration under General 
Washington, I constantly maintained that opinion ; 
and in December, 1790, took advantage of a refer 
ence to me from the first Congress which met after 
I was in office, to report in favor of a force sufficient 
for the protection of our Mediterranean commerce; 
and I laid before them an accurate statement of the 

the four captains appointed by Washington, Talbot, and Truxton, 
and Barry, &c., to carry an ambassador to Algiers, and protect our 
commerce in the Mediterranean. I have always imputed this measure 
to you, for several reasons. First, because you frequently proposed 
it to me while we were at Paris, negotiating together for peace with 
the Barbary powers. Secondly, because I knew that Washington and 
Hamilton were not only indifferent about a navy, but averse to it. 
There was no Secretary of the Navy ; only four Heads of department. 
You were Secretary of State; Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury; 
Knox, Secretary of War; and I believe Bradford was Attorney 
General. I have always suspected that you and Knox were in favor 
of a navy. If Bradford was so, the majority was clear. But Wash 
ington, I am confident, was against it in his judgment. But his 
attachment to Knox, and his deference to your opinion, for I know he 
had a great regard for you, might induce him to decide in favor of you 
and Knox, even though Bradford united with Hamilton in opposition 
to you. That Hamilton was averse to the measure, I have personal 
evidence; for while it was pending, he came in a hurry and a fit of 
impatience, to make a visit to me. He said he was likely to be called 
upon for a large sum of money to build ships of war, to fight the 
Algerines, and he asked my opinion of the measure. I answered him 

268 The Writings of [1822 

whole Barbary force, public and private. I think 
General Washington approved of building vessels 
of war to that extent. General Knox, I know, did. 
But what was Colonel Hamilton s opinion, I do not 
in the least remember. Your recollections on that 
subject are certainly corroborated by his known 
anxieties for a close connection with Great Britain, 
to which he might apprehend danger from collisions 
between their vessels and ours. Randolph was then 
Attorney General; but his opinion on the question 
I also entirely forget. Some vessels of war were 
accordingly built and sent into the Mediterranean. 
The additions to these in your time, I need not note 
to you, who are well known to have ever been an 
advocate for the wooden walls of Themistocles. 
Some of those you added, were sold under an act of 
Congress passed while you were in office. I thought, 

that I was clearly in favor of it. For I had always been of opinion, 
from the commencement of the revolution, that a navy was the most 
powerful, the safest and the cheapest national defence for this country. 
My advice, therefore, was, that as much of the revenue as could 
possibly be spared, should be applied to the building and equipping 
of ships. The conversation was of some length but it was manifest 
in his looks and in his air, that he was disgusted at the measure, as 
well as at the opinion that I had expressed. 

" Mrs. Knox not long since wrote a letter to Dr. Waterhouse, re 
questing him to procure a commission for her son, in the navy; that 
navy, says her ladyship, of which his father was the parent. For, 
says she, I have frequently heard General Washington say to my 
husband, the navy was your child. I have always believed it to be 
Jefferson s child, though Knox may have assisted in ushering it into 
the world. Hamilton s hobby was the army. That Washington was 
averse to a navy, I had full proof from his own lips, in many different 
conversations, some of them of length, in which he always insisted 
that it was only building and arming ships for the English. Si quid 
novisti rectius istis candidus imperti; si non, his utere mecum. 

"If I am in error in any particular, pray correct your humble servant." 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 269 

afterwards, that the public safety might require 
some additional vessels of strength, to be prepared 
and in readiness for the first moment of a war, pro 
vided they could be preserved against the decay 
which is unavoidable if kept in the water, and clear 
of the expense of officers and men. With this view 
I proposed that they should be built in dry docks, 
above the level of the tide waters, and covered with 
roofs. I further advised, that places for these 
docks should be selected where there was a command 
of water on a high level, as that of the Tyber at 
Washington, by which the vessels might be floated 
out, on the principle of a lock. But the majority 
of the legislature was against any addition to the 
navy, and the minority, although for it in judg 
ment, voted against it on a principle of opposition. 
We are now, I understand, building vessels to re 
main on the stocks, under shelter, until wanted, 
when they would be launched and finished. On 
my plan they could be in service at an hour s notice. 
On this, the finishing, after launching, will be a work 
of time. 

This is all I recollect about the origin and progress 
of our navy. That of the late war, certainly raised 
our rank and character among nations. Yet a navy 
is a very expensive engine. It is admitted, that in 
ten or twelve years a vessel goes to entire decay ; or, 
if kept in repair, costs as much as would build a new 
one; and that a nation who could count on twelve 
or fifteen years of peace, would gain by burning its 
navy and building a new one in time. Its extent, 
therefore, must be governed by circumstances. Since 

270 The Writings of [1822 

my proposition for a force adequate to the piracies 
of the Mediterranean, a similar necessity has arisen 
in our own seas for considerable addition to that 
force. Indeed, I wish we could have a convention 
with the naval powers of Europe, for them to keep 
down the pirates of the Mediterranean, and the 
slave ships on the coast of Africa, and for us to 
perform the same duties for the society of nations 
in our seas. In this way, those collisions would be 
avoided between the vessels of war of different 
nations, which beget wars and constitute the 
weightiest objection to navies. I salute you with 
constant affection and respect. 


MONTICELLO, November 2, 1822. 

DEAR SIR, Your favor of October the i8th came 
to hand yesterday. The atmosphere of our country 
is unquestionably charged with a threatening cloud 
of fanaticism, lighter in some parts, denser in others, 
but too heavy in all. I had no idea, however, that 
in Pennsylvania, the cradle of toleration and free 
dom of religion, it could have arisen to the height 
you describe. This must be owing to the growth of 
Presbyterianism. The blasphemy and absurdity of 
the five points of Calvin, and the impossibility of de 
fending them, render their advocates impatient of 
reasoning, irritable, and prone to denunciation. In 
Boston, however, and its neighborhood, Unitarian- 
ism has advanced to so great strength, as now to 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 271 

humble this haughtiest of all religious sects; inso 
much that they condescend to interchange with 
them and the other sects, the civilities of preaching 
freely and frequently in each others meeting-houses. 
In Rhode Island, on the other hand, no sectarian 
preacher will permit an Unitarian to pollute his 
desk. In our Richmond there is much fanaticism, 
but chiefly among the women. They have their 
night meetings and praying parties, where, attended 
by their priests, and sometimes by a hen-pecked 
husband, they pour forth the effusions of their love 
to Jesus, in terms as amatory and carnal, as their 
modesty would permit them to use to a mere earthly 
lover. In our village of Charlottesville, there is a 
good degree of religion, with a small spice only of 
fanaticism. We have four sects, but without either 
church or meeting-house. The court-house is the 
common temple, one Sunday in the month to each. 
Here, Episcopalian and Presbyterian, Methodist and 
Baptist, meet together, join in hymning their Maker, 
listen with attention and devotion to each others 
preachers, and all mix in society with perfect har 
mony. It is not so in the districts where Presby- 
terianism prevails undividedly. Their ambition and 
tyranny would tolerate no rival if they had power. 
Systematical in grasping at an ascendency over all 
other sects, they aim, like the Jesuits, at engrossing 
the education of the country, are hostile to every 
institution which they do not direct, and jealous at 
seeing others begin to attend at all to that object. 
The diffusion of instruction, to which there is now 
so growing an attention, will be the remote remedy 

272 The Writings of [1822 

to this fever of fanaticism; while the more proximate 
one will be the progress of Unitarianism. That this 
will, ere long, be the religion of the majority from 
north to south, I have no doubt. 

In our university you know there is no Professor 
ship of Divinity. A handle has been made of this, 
to disseminate an idea that this is an institution, not 
merely of no religion, but against all religion. Oc 
casion was taken at the last meeting of the Visitors, 
to bring forward an idea that might silence this 
calumny, which weighed on the minds of some 
honest friends to the institution. In our annual 
report to the legislature, after stating the consti 
tutional reasons against a public establishment of 
any religious instruction, we suggest the expediency 
of encouraging the different religious sects to estab 
lish, each for itself, a professorship of their own 
tenets, on the confines of the university, so near as 
that their students may attend the lectures there, 
and have the free use of our library, and every other 
accommodation we can give them ; preserving, how 
ever, their independence of us and of each other. 
This fills the chasm objected to ours, as a defect in 
an institution professing to give instruction in all 
useful sciences. I think the invitation will be ac 
cepted, by some sects from candid intentions, and 
by others from jealousy and rivalship. And by 
bringing the sects together, and mixing them with 
the mass of other students, we shall soften their 
asperities, liberalize and neutralize their prejudices, 
and make the general religion a religion of peace, 
reason, and morality. 

1822] Thomas Jefferson 273 

The time of opening our university is still as un 
certain as ever. All the pavilions, boarding houses, 
and dormitories are done. Nothing is now wanting 
but the central building for a library and other 
general purposes. For this we have no funds, and 
the last legislature refused all aid. We have better 
hopes of the next. But all is uncertain. I have 
heard with regret of disturbances on the part of the 
students in your seminary. The article of discipline 
is the most difficult in American education. Pre 
mature ideas of independence, too little repressed 
by parents, beget a spirit of insubordination, which 
is the great obstacle to science with us, and a prin 
cipal cause of its decay since the revolution. I look 
to it with dismay in our institution, as a breaker 
ahead, which I am far from being confident we shall 
be able to weather. The advance of age, and tardy 
pace of the public patronage, may probably spare 
me the pain of witnessing consequences. 

I salute you with constant friendship and respect. 


Dec. i, 22. 

I thank you Dr. Sir for the oppy. of reading Mr 
Taylor s Ire. which I now return. News that one 
can rely on from a country with which we have so 
little intercourse & so much mutual interest is 
doubly grateful. I rejoice to learn that Iturbide s 
is a mere usurpfi. & slenderly supported. Although 
we have no right to intermeddle with the form of 
government of other nations yet it is lawful to wish 

VOL. XII. 1 8. 

274 The Writings of [1823 

to see no emperors nor king in our hemisphere, and 
that Brazil as well as Mexico will homologize with 
us. The accident to my arm was slight, its doing 
well & free from pain. I thank you sincerely for 
your favor to Gibson. He is a worthy but unfor 
tunate man. 


MONTICELLO, Jan. 6. 23. 

DEAR SIR, I send you a mass of reading, and so 
rapidly does my hand fail me in writing that I can 
give but very briefly the necessary explanations. 

1. Mr. Cabell s letter to me & mine to him which 
passed each other on the road will give you the state 
of things respecting the University, and I am happy 
to add that letters received from Appleton give us 
reason to expect our capitals by the first vessel from 
Leghorn, done of superior marble and in superior 

2. Young E. Gerry informed me some time ago 
that he had engaged a person to write the life of his 
father, and asked for any materials I could furnish. 
I sent him some letters, but in searching for them, 
I found two, too precious to be trusted by mail, of 
the date of 1801. Jan. 15. & 20. in answer to one I 
had written him Jan. 26. 99. two years before. It 
furnishes authentic proof that in the X. Y. Z. mis 
sion to France, it was the wish of Pickering, Mar 
shall, Pinckney and the Federalists of that stamp, to 
avoid a treaty with France and to bring on war, a 
fact we charged on them at the time and this letter 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 275 

proves, and that their X. Y. Z. report was cooked 
up to dispose the people to war. Gerry their col 
league was not of their sentiment, and this is his 
statement of that transaction. During the 2. years 
between my letter & his answer, he was wavering 
between Mr. Adams & myself, between his attach 
ment to Mr. Adams personally on the one hand, 
and to republicanism on the other; for he was re 
publican, but timid & indecisive. The event of the 
election of 1800-1. put an end to his hesitations. 

3. A letter of mine to judge Johnson & his answer. 
This conveys his views of things, and they are so 
serious and sound, that they are worth your reading. 
I am sure that in communicating it to you I com 
mit no breach of trust to him ; for he and every one 
knows that I have no political secrets from you; & 
from the tenor of his letter with respect to yourself, 
it is evident he would as willingly have them known 
to you as myself. 

You will observe that Mr. Cabell, if the loan bill 
should pass, proposes to come up with Mr. Loyall, 
probably Mr. Johnson, and Genl. Cocke to have a 
special meeting. This is necessary to engage our 
workmen before they undertake other work for the 
ensuing season. I shall desire him, as soon as the 
loan bill passes the lower house (as we know it will 
pass the Senate) to name a day by mail to yourself 
to meet us, as reasonable notice to all the members is 
necessary to make the meeting legal. I hope you 
will attend, as the important decision as to the 
Rotunda may depend on it. 

Our family is all well and joins in affections to 

276 The Writings of [1823 

Mrs. Madison and yourself. My arm goes on slowly, 
still in a sling and incapable of any use, and will so 
continue some time yet. Be so good as to return 
the inclosed when read and to be assured of my 
constant and affectionate friendship. 


MONTO. Feb. 21. 23. 

DEAR SIR, The inclosed answers your favor of 
the 2 gth ult. on the value of your lands. I had had 
great hopes that while in your present office you 
would break up the degrading practice of consider 
ing the President s house as a general tavern and 
economise sffly to come out of it clear of difficulties. 
I learn the contrary with great regret. Your 
society during the little time I have left would have 
been the chief comfort of my life. Of the 3. por 
tions into which you have laid off your lands here, 
I will not yet despair but that you may retain that 
on which your house stands. Perhaps you may be 
able to make an equivalent partial sale in Loudon 
before you can a compleat one here. 

I had flattered myself that a particular and new 
resource would have saved me from my unfortunate 
engagements for W. C. N. 1 but they fail me, and I 
must sell property to their amount. 

You have had some difficulties and contradiction 
to struggle with in the course of your admn but you 
will come out of them with honor and with the 
affections of your country. Mine to you have been 
& ever will be constant and warm. 

1 Nicholas 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 277 


MONTICELLO, March 4. 1823. 

DEAR SIR, I delayed some time the acknow 
ledgment of your welcome letter of December icth 
on the common lazy principle of never doing to-day 
what we can put off to to-morrow, until it became 
doubtful whether a letter would find you at Charles 
ton. Learning now that you are at Washington, I 
will reply to some particulars which seem to require 

The North American Review is a work I do not 
take, and which is little known in this State, con 
sequently I have never seen its observations on your 
inestimable history, but a reviewer can never let a 
work pass uncensured. He must always make 
himself wiser than his author. He would other 
wise think it an abdication of his office of censor. 
On this occasion, he seems to have had more sensi 
bility for Virginia than she has for herself; for, on 
reading the work, I saw nothing to touch our pride 
or jealousy, but every expression of respect and 
good will which truth could justify. The family of 
enemies, whose buzz you apprehend, are now no 
thing. You may learn this at Washington; and 
their military relation has long ago had the full- 
voiced condemnation of his own State. Do not 
fear, therefore, these insects. What you write will 
be far above their grovelling sphere. Let me, then, 
implore you, dear Sir, to finish your history of */ 
parties, leaving the time of publication to the state 
of things you may deem proper but taking especial 
care that we do not lose it altogether. We have 

278 The Writings of [1823 

been too careless of our future reputation, while our 
tories will omit nothing to place us in the wrong. 
Besides the five-voluiQed^jibel which represents us 
as struggling for office, and not at all to prevent our 
government from being administered into a mon 
archy, the life of Hamilton is in the hands of a 
man who, to the bitterness of the priest, adds the 
rancor of the fiercest federalism. Mr. Adams 
papers, too, and his biography, will descend of 
course to his son, whose pen, you know, is pointed, 
and his prejudices not in our favor. And doubtless 
other things are in preparation, unknown to us. 
On our part we are depending on truth to make 
itself known, while history is taking a contrary set 
which may become too inveterate for correction. 
Mr. Madison will probably leave something, but I 
believe, only particular passages of our history and 
these chiefly confined to the period between the 
dissolution of the old and commencement of the 
new government, which is peculiarly within his 
knowledge. After he joined me in the administra 
tion, he had no leisure to write. This, too, was my 
case. But although I had not time to prepare 
anything express, my letters, (all preserved) will 
furnish the daily occurrences and views from my 
return from Europe in 1790, till I retired finally 
from office. These will command more conviction 
than anything I could have written after my retire 
ment ; no day having ever passed during that period 
without a letter to somebody. Written too in the 
moment, and in the warmth and freshness of fact 
and feeling, they will carry internal evidence that 

l82 3] Thomas Jefferson 279 

what they breathe is genuine. Selections from 
these, after my death, may come out successively 
as the maturity of circumstances may render their 
appearance seasonable. But multiplied testimony, 
multiplied views will be necessary to give solid es 
tablishment to truth. Much is known to one which 
is not known to another, and no one knows every 
thing. It is the sum of individual knowledge which 
is to make up the whole truth, and to give its correct 
current through future time. Then do not, dear 
Sir, withhold your stock of information; and I 
would moreover recommend that you trust it not to 
a single copy, nor to a single depository. Leave it 
not in the power of any one person, under the dis 
tempered view of an unlucky moment, to deprive 
us of the weight of your testimony, and to purchase, 
by its destruction, the favor of any party or person, 
as happened with a paper of Dr. Franklin s. 

I cannot lay down my pen without recurring to i 
one of the subjects of my former letter, for in truth 
there is no danger I apprehend so much as the con- 
solidation of our government by the noiseless, and ji 
therefore unalarming, instrumentality of the supreme |j 
court. This is the form in which federalism now \ 
arrays itself, and consolidation is the present prin 
ciple of distinction between republicans and the 
pseudo-republicans but real federalists. I must 
comfort myself with the hope that the judges will 
see the importance and the duty of giving their 
country the only evidence they can give of fidelity 
to its constitution and integrity in the administra 
tion of its laws ; that is to say, by every one s giving 

280 The Writings of [1823 

his opinion seriatim and publicly on the cases he 
decides. Let him prove by his reasoning that he 
has read the papers, that he has considered the case, 
that in the application of the law to it, he uses his 
own judgment independently and unbiased by party 
views and personal favor or disfavor. Throw him 
self in every case on God and his country; both will 
. excuse him for error and value him for his honesty. 
The very idea of cooking up opinions in conclave, 
begets suspicions that something passes which fears 
the public ear, and this, spreading by degrees, must 
produce at some time abridgment of tenure, facility 
of removal, or some other modification which may 
promise a remedy. For in truth there is at this 
time more hostility to the federal judiciary, than to 
any other organ of the government. 

I should greatly prefer, as you do, four judges to any 
greater number. Great lawyers are not over abun 
dant, and the multiplication of judges only enables 
the weak to out -vote the wise, and three concurrent 
opinions out of four give a strong persumption of 

I cannot better prove my entire confidence in 
your candor, than by the frankness with which I 
commit myself to you, and to this I add with truth, 
assurances of the sincerity of my great esteem and 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 281 


MONTICELLO, March 28. 23. 

DEAR SIR, From your letter of prophecies I too 
have caught the spirit of prophecy: for who can 
withhold looking into futurity, on events which are 
to change the face of the world, and the condition of 
man throughout it, without indulging himself in the 
effusions of the holy spirit of Delphos? I may do it 
the more safely, as to my vaticinations I always 
subjoin the Proviso "that nothing unexpected hap 
pen to change the predicted course of events." If, 
then, France has invaded Spain, an insurrection im 
mediately takes place in Paris, the Royal family is 
sent to the Temple, thence perhaps to the Guillotine; 
to the 2. or 300,000 men able to bear arms in Paris 
will flock all the young men of the nation, born and 
bred in principles of freedom, and furnish a corps 
d armee with Orleans, Beauharnais, or Fayette at 
their head; the army of the Pyrenees catch the 
same flame and return to Paris with their arms in 
their hands. The Austrian and Prussian armies 
march to the relief of Louis XVIII, a descendant as 
well as Ferdinand of Henry IV. As soon as their 
backs are turned, an universal insurrection takes 

1 Jefferson also sent a copy of this letter to Monroe, with the follow 
ing explanation : 

" MONTO. Mar. 29. 23. 

" DEAR SIR, In answering a letter from Mr. Short I indulged myself 
in some off hand speculns on the present lowering state of Europe, 
random enough to be sure, yet on revising them I thot I would hazard 
a copy to you on the bare possibility that out of them, as we some 
times do from dreams, you might pick up some hint worth improving 
by your own reflection. At any rate the whole reverie will lose to you 
only the few minutes required for it s perusal, and therefore I hazard 
it with the assurance of my constant affectn & respect." 

282 The Writings of [1823 

place in Germany, Prussia, perhaps the Netherlands, 
thro 7 all Italy certainly, who besides a force suffi 
cient to settle their own governments, can send aids 
to France. Alexander, in the meantime, having 
dexterously set all the South of Europe together by 
the ears, leaves them the bag to hold, and turns his 
whole force on Turkey, profiting of the opportunity 
at length obtained, which never occurred before, 
and never would again. 

In the mean time Great Britain and the U S. 
prepare for milking the cow; and, as friends to all 
parties, furnish all with cabotage, commerce, manu 
factures and food. Great Britain particularly gets 
full employment for all her hands, machines and 
capital; she recovers from her distresses & rises 
again into prosperity and splendour. She goes 
hand in hand with us in reaping this harvest and 
on fair principles of Neutrality, which it will now 
be her interest to settle and observe: She joins us 
too in a guarantee of the independance of Cuba, 
with the consent of Spain, and removes thus this 
bone of contention from between us. We avail 
ourselves of this occasion of a cordial conciliation 
and friendship with Spain, by assuring her of every 
friendly office which even a partial neutrality will 
permit, and particularly that, during their struggle 
they need fear nothing hostile from us in their 
colonies, and Spain and Portugal wisely relinquish 
the dependance of all their American colonies, on 
condition they make common cause with them 
in the present conflict. ,Is not this a handsome 
string of events, which are to give Representative 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 283 

Governments to all Europe, and all of which are 
surely to take place "if nothing unexpected happens 
to change their course " ? It might be amusing half 
a dozen years hence, to review these predictions and 
see how they tally with history. 

I shall receive, with high pleasure, your visit in 
the Autumn. When the time approaches, we must 
secure a concert between that and mine to Bedford 
to which all times are indifferent. Our University 
is now compleat to a single building, which, having 
seen the Pantheon, your imagination will readily 
supply, so as to form a good idea of its ultimate ap 
pearance. You must bequeath it your library, as 
many others of us propose to do. 

The bone of my arm is well knitted and strong, but 
the carpal bones, having been disturbed, maintain 
an cedematous swelling of the hand and fingers, 
keeping them entirely helpless and holding up no 
definite term for the recovery of their usefulness. 
I am now in the $th months of this disability. 

Nothing could have carried me through the labor 
of this long letter but the glow of the Pythian in 
spiration, and I must rest, after exhaustion, as that 
goddess usually did, adding only assurances of my 
constant and affectionate friendship and respect. 


MONTICELLO, May 3, 1823. 

DEAR GENERAL, I duly received your favor of 
the 24th ult. But I am rendered a slow correspond 
ent by the loss of the use, totally of the one, and 

284 The Writings of [1823 

almost totally of the other wrist, which renders 
writing scarcely and painfully practicable. I learn 
with great satisfaction that wholesome economies 
have been found, sufficient to relieve us from the 
ruinous necessity of adding annually to our debt by 
new loans. The deviser of so salutary a relief de 
serves truly well of his country. I shall be glad, 
too, if an additional tax of one-fourth of a dollar a 
gallon on whiskey shall enable us to meet all our 
engagements with punctuality. Viewing that tax 
as an article in a system of excise, I was once glad 
to see it fall with the rest of the system, which I 
considered as prematurely and unnecessarily in 
troduced. It was evident that our existing taxes 
were then equal to our existing debts. It was 
clearly foreseen also that the surplus from ex 
cise would only become aliment for useless offices, 
and would be swallowed in idleness by those whom 
it would withdraw from useful industry. Considering 
it only as a fiscal measure, this was right. But the 
prostration of body and mind which the cheapness 
of this liquor is spreading through the mass of our 
citizens, now calls the attention of the legislator on 
a very different principle. One of his important 
duties is as guardian of those who from causes in 
susceptible of precise definition, cannot take care of 
themselves. Such are infants, maniacs, gamblers, 
drunkards. The last, as much as the maniac, re 
quires restrictive measures to save him from the 
fatal infatuation under which he is destroying his 
health, his morals, his family, and his usefulness 
to society. One powerful obstacle to his ruinous 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 285 

self-indulgence would be a price beyond his compe 
tence. As a sanatory measure, therefore, it becomes 
one of duty in the public guardians. Yet I do not 
think it follows necessarily that imported spirits 
should be subjected to similar enhancement, until 
they become as cheap as those made at home. A tax 
on whiskey is to discourage its consumption ; a tax on 
foreign spirits encourages whiskey by removing its 
rival from competition. The price and present duty 
throw foreign spirits already out of competition with 
whiskey, and accordingly they are used but to a 
salutary extent. You see no persons besotting 
themselves with imported spirits, wines, liquors, 
cordials, &c. Whiskey claims to itself alone the ex 
clusive office of sot-making. Foreign spirits, wines, 
teas, coffee, segars, salt, are articles of as innocent 
consumption as broadcloths and silks and ought, 
like them, to pay but the average ad valorem duty 
of other imported comforts. All of them are in 
gredients in our happiness, and the government 
which steps out of the ranks of the ordinary articles 
of consumption to select and lay under dispropor 
tionate burthens a particular one, because it is a 
comfort, pleasing to the taste, or necessary to health, 
and will therefore be bought, is, in that particular, 
a tyranny. Taxes on consumption like those on 
capital or income, to be just, must be uniform. I 
do not mean to say that it may not be for the 
general interest to foster for awhile certain infant 
manufactures, until they are strong enough to stand 
against foreign rivals; but when evident that they 
will never be so, it is against right, to make the other 

286 The Writings of [1823 

branches of industry support them. When it was 
found that France could not make sugar under 6 h. 
a lb., was it not tyranny to restrain her citizens from 
importing at i h. ? or would it not have been so to 
have laid a duty of 5 h. on the imported? The per 
mitting an exchange of industries with other nations 
is a direct encouragement of your own, which with 
out that, would bring you nothing for your comfort, 
and would of course cease to be produced. 

On the question of the next Presidential election, 
I am a mere looker on. I never permit myself to 
express an opinion, or to feel a wish on the subject. 
I indulge a single hope only, that the choice may 
fall on one who will be a friend of peace, of economy, 
of the republican principles of our constitution, and 
of the salutary distribution of powers made by that 
between the general and the local governments, to 
this, I ever add sincere prayers for your happiness 
and prosperity. 


May 31, 23. 

DEAR SIR, On my late return from Bedford I 
found here your three favors of May 9. 13. & . The 
millet you have been so kind as to send me is not yet 
arrived. Accept my thanks for it as well as for the 
details as to it s culture & produce. I shall turn it 
over to my grandson T. J. Randolph, to whom I 
have committed the management of the whole of 
my agricultural concerns, in which I was never 
skilful and am now entirely unequal from age and 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 287 

debility. He had reed, some seed of the same kind 
from another quarter and had sowed an acre & a 
half by way of experiment. To this he will add 
what you are so kind as to send if it comes in time. 
We had heard much of it s great produce & par 
ticularly in Kentucky. We have also obtained a 
little of the genuine Guinee grass, a plant of great 
& nutritious produce. This too is under trial. 
Withdrawn entirely from agriculture I am equally 
so from the business of the world & especially from 
political concerns which I trust entirely to the 
genern of the day, without enquiry, or reading but 
a single newspaper. I shall therefore accdg to your 
permission consign the several valuable pamphlets 
you have sent me to some of our members of Con 
gress or others in power, who may use them to ad 
vantage. I am sure however I should read your 
vinegar & pepper letters with pleasure should you 
send them on; for whenever I have been con 
founded in the labyrinth of politics of Pennsylve 
especially I have ever applied to you for their clue 
& have found myself kept right by your informn. I 
am all alive however to the war of Spain & it s 
atrocious invasion by France. I trust it will end in 
an Universal insurrection of continental Europe & 
in the establmt of representative government in 
every country of it. We surely see the finger of 
providence in the insanity of France which brings 
on this great consummation. 

I learn from you with great satisfn the details con 
cerning your family, and their happy & prosperous 
progress in life. Your own losses by endorsements 

288 The Writings of 

are heavy indeed. I do not know whether you 
may recollect how loudly my voice was raised agt. 
the establmt of banks in the begng. But like that 
of Cassandra it was not listened to. I was set 
down as a madman by those who have since been 
victims to them. I little thought then how much 
I was to suffer by them myself, for I too am taken 
in by endorsements for a friend to the amount of 
20,000 D. for the payment of which I shall have to 
make sale of that much of my property the ensuing 
winter. And yet the general revoln of fortunes which 
these instrmns have produced seem not at all to 
have cured our country of this mania. 

Your last letter first enables me to return you the 
thanks so long due & unrendered for the two prints 
of Bonaparte, being the first informn I have reed 
that they came from you. They came to me with 
out the least indicn from what quarter. I went to 
the village of Milton, & enquired of the boatmen, 
who could tell me nothing more than that they were 
delivered to them for me by a person whom they did 
not know, and the present was so magnificent that 
I really suspected it came from Joseph Bonaparte 
or some of the refugee French Generals who were 
then with us. Dr. Watson first suggested that he 
believed they had come from you and that you had 
never learnt their safe arrival. I prayed him on 
his return to Phila to ascertain the fact, and your 
letter now, for the first time gives me the informn 
desired. I pray you to be assured that nothing but 
this ignorance could so long have withheld my just 
acknolegmts for this mark of your f rdshp so splendid 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 289 

& so acceptable. You suppose that in some letter 
of mine an idea is conveyed of dissatsn on my part 
for something mentd. by you on the subject of my 
religion. Certainly no letter of mine to you can 
ever have expressed such an idea. I never heard 
of any animadversion of yours on my religion & I 
believe that is one of the subjects on which our con- 
versn never turned, and that neither of us ever knew 
what was the religion of the other. On this point 
I suppose we are both equally tolerant & charitable. 
I am far from being in the condn of easy -writing 
which your letter supposes, with 2 crippled wrists, 
the one scarcely able to move my pen, the other to 
hold my paper. This double misfortune, the one 
of antr date now aggravated by age, the other 
recent, renders writing so slow & painful that 
nothing can induce me to approach the writing 
table but business indispensable or the irresistible 
impulse to assure my friends, as I now do you, of 
my constant & affecte frdshp & respect. 


MONTICELLO, June 9. 23. 

DEAR SIR, I received yesterday your favor of 
the 3ist ult. and my Grandson Th: J. R. having set 
out to Richmond the day before I immediately in 
closed the papers to him by mail and informed him 
that I should be ready if thot necessary, to bear 
testimony to the honble character of our deed, 
friend, as I knew him. I am sorry to learn that you 

VOL. XII. 19. 

290 The Writings of [1823 

are among the sufferers by his misfortunes. I am 
dreadfully so, to an amount which will weigh heavily 
on the remr of my life. 

I was much gratified by the visit of your son and 
formed as favorable an opinion of him as it s short 
ness would permit. I hope we shall have our Univty. 
opened yet in time for him. This however must 
depend on the future acts of the legislature. They 
started the schemes of their Primary schools and 
university at the same time, and as if on the same 
footing, without considering that the former re 
quired no preliminary expence, the latter an im 
mense one, and their supplies of the deficiency they 
have called hitherto by the name of loans, as if the 
monies of the literary fund could be more legiti 
mately appropriated. Their last vote will com- 
pleatly finish the buildings, and whenever they 
shall declare our annuity liberated from this in- 
cumbrance, we shall take measures to procure pro 
fessors and to open the institution. I hope they will 
make this declaration at their next session. We 
can immediately accommodate 200 students, which 
number I am sure will be quickly furnished to over 
flowing. Every student addnal to that number, 
and I think they will be many, will require pro 
gressive accommdns to the amount of 300. D. for 
each until we attain our maximum, which the suc 
cess of the establmt will I hope by that time en 
courage the legislature to furnish, in considn of the 
D, & cents they will add to our circuln as well as to 
the diffusion of science among our citizens. 

I have been gratified lately by hearing that your 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 291 

health was improving. The bone of my arm which 
was fractured, is well knitted, but the small bones 
of the wrist being dislocated at the same time, could 
not be truly replaced, so that it s use will never be 
recovered in any great degree. My health is good, 
but so weakened by age that I can walk but little, 
but I ride daily & with little fatigue. I hope you 
will continue as long as you wish it to enjoy life and 
health, and pray you to be assured of my constant 
and sincere frdshp and respect. 


MONTICELLO, June ii, 1823. 

DEAR SIR, Considering that I had not been to 
Bedford for a twelvemonth before, I thought myself 
singularly unfortunate in so timing my journey, as 
to have been absent exactly at the moment of your 
late visit to our neighborhood. The loss, indeed, 
was all my own; for in these short interviews with 
you, I generally get my political compass rectified, 
learn from you whereabouts we are, and correct my 
course again. In exchange for this, I can give you 
but newspaper ideas, and little indeed of these, for I 
read but a single paper, and that hastily. I find 
Horace and Tacitus so much better writers than 
the champions of the gazettes, that I lay those down 
to take up these with great reluctance. And on the 
question you propose, whether we can, in any form, 
take a bolder attitude than formerly in favor of 
liberty, I can give you but commonplace ideas. 

292 The Writings of [1823 

They will be but the widow s mite, and offered only 
because requested. The matter which now em 
broils Europe, the presumption of dictating to an 
independent nation the form of its government, is 
so arrogant, so atrocious, that indignation, as well 
as moral sentiment, enlists all our partialities and 
prayers in favor of one, and our equal execrations 
against the other. I do not know, indeed, whether 
all nations do not owe to one another a bold and 
open declaration of their sympathies with the one 
xparty and their detestation of the conduct of the 
other. But farther than this we are not bound to 
go; and indeed, for the sake of the world, we ought 
not to increase the jealousies, or draw on ourselves 
the power of this formidable confederacy. I have 
ever deemed it fundamental for the United States, 
never to take active part in the quarrels of Europe. 
Their political interests are entirely distinct from 
ours. Their mutual jealousies, their balance of 
power, their complicated alliances, their forms and 
principles of government, are all foreign to us. 
They are nations of eternal war. All their energies 
are expended in the destruction of the labor, pro 
perty and lives of their people. On our part, never 
had a people so favorable a chance of trying the 
opposite system, of peace and fraternity with man 
kind, and the direction of all our means and faculties 
to the purposes of improvement instead of destruc 
tion. With Europe ,we have few occasions of 
collision, and these, with a little prudence and 
forbearance, may be generally accommodated. Of 
the brethren of our own hemisphere, none are yet, 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 293 

or for an age to come will be, in a shape, condition, 
or disposition to war against us. And the foothold 
which the nations of Europe had in either America, 
is slipping from under them, so that we shall soon 
be rid of their neighborhood. Cuba alone seems at 
presexit to hold up a speck of war to us. Its pos 
session by Great Britain would indeed be a great 
calamity to us. Could we induce her to join us in 
guaranteeing its independence against all the world, 
except Spain, it would be nearly as valuable to us 
as if it were our own. But should she take it, I 
would not immediately go to war for it; because the 
first war on other accounts will give it to us ; or the 
island will give itself to us, when able to do so. 
While no duty, therefore, calls on us to take part in 
the present war of Europe, and a golden harvest 
offers itself in reward for doing nothing, peace and 
neutrality seem to be our duty and interest. We 
may gratify ourselves, indeed, with a neutrality as 
partial to Spain as would be justifiable without 
giving cause of war to her adversary ; we might and 
ought to avail ourselves of the happy occasion of 
procuring and cementing a cordial reconciliation 
with her, by giving assurance of every friendly 
office which neutrality admits, and especially, against 
all apprehension of our intermeddling in the quarrel 
with her colonies. And I expect daily and confi 
dently to hear of a spark kindled in France, which 
will employ her at home, and relieve Spain from all 
further apprehensions of danger. 

That England is playing false with Spain cannot 
be doubted. Her government is looking one way 

294 The Writings of [1823 

and rowing another. It is curious to look back a 
little on past events. During the ascendancy of 
Bonaparte, the word among the herd of kings, was 
sauve qui pent. Each shifted for himself, and 
left his brethren to squander and do the same as they 
could. After the battle of Waterloo, and the mili 
tary possession of France, they rallied and com 
bined in common cause, to maintain each other 
against any similar and future danger. And in this 
alliance, Louis, now avowedly, and George, secretly 
but solidly, were of the contracting parties; and 
there can be no doubt that the allies are bound by 
treaty to aid England with their armies, should 
insurrection take place among her people. The 
coquetry she is now playing off between her people 
and her allies is perfectly understood by the latter, 
and accordingly gives no apprehensions to France, 
to whom it is all explained. The diplomatic cor 
respondence she is now displaying, these double 
papers fabricated merely for exhibition, in which 
she makes herself talk of morals and principle, as 
if her qualms of conscience would not permit her to 
go all lengths with her Holy Allies, are all to gull her 
own people. It is a theatrical farce, in which the 
five powers are the actors, England the Tartuffe, 
and her people the dupes. Playing thus so dex- 
trously into each others hands, and their own per 
sons seeming secured, they are now looking to their 
privileged orders. These faithful auxiliaries, or ac 
complices, must be saved. This war is evidently 
that of the general body of the aristocracy, in which 
England is also acting her part. Save but the 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 295 

Nobles and there shall be no war," says she, mask 
ing her measures at the same time under the form 
of friendship and mediation, and hypocritically, 
while a party, offering herself as a judge, to betray 
those whom she is not permitted openly to oppose. 
A fraudulent neutrality, if neutrality at all, is all 
Spain will get from her. And Spain, probably, per 
ceives this, and willingly winks at it rather than 
have her weight thrown openly into the other scale. 
But I am going beyond my text, and sinning 
against the adage of carrying coals to Newcastle. 
In hazarding to you my crude and uninformed 
notions of things beyond my cognizance, only be so 
good as to remember that it is at your request, and 
with as little confidence on my part as profit on 
yours. You will do what is right, leaving the people 
of Europe to act their follies and crimes among 
themselves, while we pursue in good faith the paths 
of peace and prosperity. To your judgment we are 
willingly resigned, with sincere assurances of affec 
tionate esteem and respect. 


MONTO. June 13. 23. 

DEAR SIR, I communicated to you a former 
part of a correspondence between /udge Johnson of 
Charleston and myself, chiefly on the practice of 
caucusing opns which is that of the Supreme court 
of the US. but on some other matters also, par 
ticularly his history of parties. In a late letter he 
asks me to give him my idea of the precise principles 

296 The Writings of [1823 

& views of the Republicans in their opposn to the 
Feds when that opposn was highest, also my opn of 
the line dividing the jurisdn of the general & state 
govmts, mention a dispute between Genl. W/s 
frds & Mr. Hamilton as to the authorship of their 
Valedictory, and expresses his concurrce with me 
on the subject of seriatim opns. This last being of 
primary importance I inclose you a copy of my 
answer to the judge, because if you think of it as I 
do, I suppose your connection with Judge Todd & 
your antient intimacy with Judge Duvel might give 
you an opening to say something to them on the 
subject. If Johnson could be backed by them in 
the practice, the others would be obliged to follow 
suit and this dangerous engine of consolidn would 
feel a proper restraint by their being compelled to 
explain publicly the grounds of their opinions. 
What I have stated as [to] the Valedictory, is accdg 
to my recollection; if you find any error it shall be 
corrected in another letter. When you shall have 
read the inclosed be so good as to return it, as I 
have no other copy. 

The literary board have advanced 40,000 D. and 
will retain the balance for us as requested until the 
end of the year, and the building is going on rapidly. 
Ever & affectly. yours. 


MONTICELLO, June 23, 1823. 

DEAR SIR, I have been lately visited by a Mr. 
Miralla, a native of Buenos Ayres, but resident in 

l82 s] Thomas Jefferson 297 

Cuba for the last seven or eight years; a person of 
intelligence, of much information, and frankly com 
municative. I believe, indeed, he is known to you. 
I availed myself of the opportunity of learning what 
was the state of public sentiment in Cuba as to their 
future course. He says they should be satisfied to 
remain as they are; but all are sensible that that 
cannot be; that whenever circumstances shall ren 
der a separation from Spain necessary, a perfect in- 
dependance would be their choice, provided they 
could see a certainty of protection; but that, with 
out that prospect, they would be divided in opinion 
between an incorporation with Mexico, and with the 
United States. Columbia being too remote for 
prompt support. The considerations in favor of 
Mexico are that the Havana would be the emporium 
for all the produce of that immense and wealthy 
country, and of course, the medium of all its com 
merce; that having no ports on its eastern coast, 
Cuba would become the depot of its naval stores 
and strength, and, in effect, would, in a great meas 
ure, have the sinews of the government in its hands. 
That in favor of the United States is the fact that 
three-fourths of the exportations from Havana 
come to the United States, that they are a settled 
government, the power which can most promptly 
succor them, rising to an eminence promising future 
security; and of which they would make a member 
of the sovereignty, while as to England, they would 
be only a colony, subordinated to her interest, and 
that there is not a man in the island who would not 
resist her to the bitterest extremity. Of this last 

298 The Writings of [1823 

sentiment I had not the least idea at the date of my 
late letters to you. I had supposed an English in 
terest there quite as strong as that of the United 
States, and therefore, that, to avoid war, and keep 
the island open to our own commerce, it would be 
best to join that power in mutually guaranteeing 
its independence. But if there is no danger of its 
falling into the possession of England, I must re 
tract an opinion founded on an error of fact. We 
are surely under no obligation to give her, gratis, an 
interest which she has not; and the whole inhabi 
tants being averse to her, and the climate mortal 
to strangers, its continued military occupation by 
her would be impracticable. It is better then to lie 
still in readiness to receive that interesting incorpora 
tion when solicited by herself. For, certainly, her 
addition to our confederacy is exactly what is want 
ing to round our power as a nation to the point of 
its utmost interest. 

I have thought it my duty to acknowledge my 
error on this occasion, and to repeat a truth before 
acknowledged, that, retired as I am, I know too 
little of the affairs of the world to form opinions of 
them worthy of any attention; and I resign myself 
with reason, and perfect confidence to the care and 
guidance of those to whom the helm is committed. 
With this assurance, accept that of my constant 
and affectionate friendship and respect. 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 299 


MONTICELLO, AugUSt 2, 1823. 

DEAR SIR, A recent illness, from which I am 
just recovering, obliges me to borrow the pen of a 
granddaughter to acknowledge the receipt of your 
welcome favor, of June 29, from New York. I read 
it with great satisfaction. Occasional views, to be 
relied on, of the complicated affairs of Europe are 
like a good observation at sea, which tells one where 
they are, after wandering through the newspapers 
till they are bewildered. I keep my eye on the 
cortes as my index, and judge of everything by 
their position and proceedings. I do not readily 
despair of Spain. Their former example proved 
them, and the cause is the same, their constitutional 
cortes and king. At any rate I despair not of 
Europe. The advance of mind which has taken 
place everywhere cannot retrograde, and the ad 
vantages of representative government exhibited in 
England and America, and recently in other coun 
tries, will procure its establishment everywhere in a 
more or less perfect form; and this will insure the 
amelioration of the condition of the world. It will 
cost years of blood, and be well worth them. 

Here you will not immediately see into our 
political condition which you once understood so 
well. It is not exactly what it seems to be. You 
will be told that parties are now all amalgamated; 
the wolf now dwells with the lamb, and the leopard 
lies down with the kid. It is true that Federalism 
has changed its name and hidden itself among us. 
Since the Hartford Convention it is deemed even 

300 The Writings of [1823 

by themselves a name of reproach. In some degree, 
too, they have varied their object. To monarchize 
this nation they see is impossible; the next best 
thing in their view is to consolidate it into one 
government as a premier pas to monarchy. The 
party is now as strong as it ever has been since 
1800.; and, though mixed with us, are to be known 
by their rallying together on every question of 
power in a general government. The judges, as 
before, are at their head, and are their entering 
wedge. Young men are more easily seduced into 
this principle than the old one of monarchy. But 
you will soon see into this disguise. Your visit to this 
place would indeed be a day of jubilee : but your age 
and distance forbid the hope. Be this as it will, I 
shall love you forever, and rejoice in your rejoicing, 
and sympathize in your evils. God bless you and 
have you ever in his holy keeping. 


MONTICELLO Aug. 2. 23. 

DEAR SIR, I agree with you in all the definitions 
of your favor of July 22. of the qualificns necessary 
for the chair of the US. and I add another. He 
ought to be disposed rigorously to maintain the line 
of power marked by the constitution between the 
two co-ordinate governments, each sovereign & 
independant in it s department, the states as to 
everything relating to themselves and their state, 
the General government as to everything relating to 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 301 

things or persons out of a particular state. The one 
may be strictly called the Domestic branch of 
government which is sectional but sovereign, the 
other the foreign branch of government co-ordinate 
with the other domestic & equally sovereign on it s 
own side of the line. The federalists, baffled in 
their schemes to monarchise us, have given up their 
name, which the Hartford Convention had made 
odious, and have taken shelter among us and under 
our name. But they have not only changed the 
point of attack. On every question of the usurpa 
tion of State powers by the Foreign or Genl govmt, 
the same men rally together, force the line of de 
marcation and consolidate the government. The 
judges are at their head as heretofore, and are their 
entering wedge. The true old republicans stand 
to the line, and will I hope die on it if necessary. 
Let our next president be aware of this new party 
principle and firm in maintaining the constitutional 
line of demarcation. But agreeing in your prin 
ciples, I am not sufficiently acquainted with the 
numerous candidates to apply them personally. 
With one I have had a long acquaintance, but little 
intimate because little in political unison. With 
another a short but more favorable acquaintance 
because always in unison. With others merely a 
personal recognition. Thus unqualified to judge, 
I am equally indisposed in my state of retirement, 
at my age and last stage of debility. I ought not to 
quit the port in which I am quietly moored to 
commit myself again to the stormy ocean of political 
or party contest, to kindle new enmities, and lose 

302 The Writings of [1823 

old friends. No, my dear sir, tranquility is the 
summum bonum of old age, and there is a time when 
it is a duty to leave the government of the world 
to the existing generation, and to repose one s self 
under their protecting hand. That time is come 
with me, and I welcome it. A recent illness from 
which I am just recovered obliges me to borrow the 
pen of a granddaughter to say these things to you, 
to assure you of my continued esteem and respect, 
and to request you to recall me to the friendly 
recollections of Mrs. Smith. 1 



DEAR SIR, I reed, yesterday your favor of the 
nth. It referred to something said to be inclosed, 

1 Of this letter, Jefferson later wrote to Smith: 

" MONTO Dec. 19. 23. 

" Do not for the world, my dear Sir, suffer my letter of Aug. 2. to get 
before the public, nor to go out of your own hands or to be copied. I 
am always averse to the publication of my letters because I wish to 
be at rest, retired & unnoticed. But most especially this letter. I 
never meant to meddle in a Presidential election, and in a letter to a 
person in N. Y. written after the date of the one to you I declared 
that I would take no part in the ensuing one and permitted him to 
publish the letter. A thousand improprieties, indelicacies & considns 
of friendship strongly felt by myself, forbid it. I am glad you did not 
name to me those to whom you had thought to give a copy, because 
not knowing who they are my unwillingness cannot be felt by any as 
proceeding from a want of personal confidence, but truly from the 
motives above stated. I hope the choice will fall on some real re- 
, publican, who will continue the admn on the express principles of the 
/ constn unadulterated by constructions reducing it to a blank to be 
\ filled with what every one pleases and what never was intended. 
With this I shall be contented. Accept for yourself & Mrs. Smith 
the assurances of my affectionate esteem & respect." 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 303 

without saying what, and, in fact nothing was in 
closed. But the preceding mail had brot me the 
Nat. Intell. of the yth & gth in which was a very 
able discussion on the mode of electing our Presi 
dent signed Phocion. This I suspect is what your 
letter refers to. If I am right in this conjecture, I 
have no hesitation in saying that I have ever con 
sidered the constitutional mode of election ulti 
mately by the legislature voting by states as the 
most dangerous blot in our constn, and one which 
some unlucky chance will some day hit, and give 
us a pope & anti-pope. I looked therefore with 
anxiety to the amendment proposed by Colo. 
Taylor at the last session of Congress, which I 
thought would be a good substitute, if on an equal 
division of the electors after a 2d appeal to them 
the ultimate decision between the two highest had 
been given by it to the legislature voting per capita. 
But the states are now so numerous that I despair 
of ever seeing another amdmt to the constn, altho 
the innovns of time will certainly call and now al 
ready call for some, and especially the smaller states 
are so numerous as to render desperate every hope 
of obtaining a sufficient proportion of them in favor 
of Phocion s proposition. Another general con 
vention can alone relieve us. What then is the best 
palliative of the evil in the mean time? Another 
short question points to the answer. Would we 
rather the choice should be made by the legislature 
voting in Congress by states, or in Caucus per 
capita? The remedy is indeed bad, but the disease 
worse ! 

304 The Writings of [1823 

But I have long since withdrawn from attention 
to political affairs. Age & debility render me un 
equal and disinclined to them, and two crippled 
wrists to the use of the pen. Peace with all the 
world and a quiet descent thro the remainder of 
my time are now so necessary to my happiness that 
I am unwilling by the expression of any opinion 
before the public to rekindle antient animosities, 
covered under their ashes indeed but not extin 
guished. Yet altho weaned from politics, I am not 
so from the love of my friends, and to yourself 
particularly I can give assurance with truth of my 
constant, and cordial affection & respect. 


MONTICELLO Aug. 29. 23. 

DEAR SIR, On receipt of your former letter of 
May 31. I communicated it to my gr. son Jefferson 
Randolph. On considn of the subject he was in 
duced to think that the vindicn of Mr. W. C. N. s 
character, if it needed it at all would be particularly 
incumbent on his brother Mr. Norborne Nicholas 
and would in his be in more competent hands. He 
therefore communicated the Ire to him, and referred 
to him to act on it, as he should think best. Your 
last letter of July 29 came to my hands on the 2ist 
inst. only. Jefferson was then absent on a journey 
so that I did not see him till the evening of the 27th 
when I communicated to him this letter also. He 
observed to me that having referred the whole 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 305 

matter to Mr. N. Nicholas he was unwilling to meddle 
with it at all. I therefore went on the 28th (yester 
day) to Charlsvl. at the hour prescribed & found 
there Mr. Pollard with his counsel Mr. Dyer, but no 
magistrates. I had written my answers to your 
interrogatories & shewed them to the gentlemen, 
asking of Mr. Pollard if (as no magistrates attended) 
he would suffer them to be read by consent. He 
said he should do whatever his counsel advised. I 
then asked his counsel, who answered that they 
could consent to nothing, at the same time ac- 
knoleging that the answers were such as every man 
would give who knew anything of Colo. Nicholas. 
We parted therefore re injecta. Reflecting how 
ever, on my return home, I became sensible that 
you must have depended either on Jef . Randolph or 
myself for procuring magistrates and was mortified 
that, on their refusing consent, it did not occur to 
me on the instant, to go out and hunt up a couple 
of magistrates. I therefore returned to Charlesvl 
early this morning, found Mr. Pollard still there, 
went out & procured the attendee of 2 magistrates, 
and the deposn was taken, and is in the letter I now 
enclose for the clerk of your court. That you may 
know what it is I return you your interrogatories 
with the answers I gave to them & those of the other 
party with the answers to them also which I scribbled 
on my knee. These were copied verbatim into the 
deposn without a word more or less: this will ex 
plain to you why the deposition has been taken this 
day instead of yesterday and with every wish which 
friendship can inspire for your happy issue out of 

VOL. XII. 20. 

306 The Writings of [1823 

this entanglement, I give assurances of my constant 
and unchangeable affection & respect. 


MONTICELLO, AugUSt 30, 1823. 

DEAR SIR, I received the enclosed letters from 
the President with a request, that after perusal I 
would forward them to you for perusal by yourself 
also, and to be returned then to him. 

You have doubtless seen Timothy Pickering s 
fourth of July observations on the Declaration of 
Independence. If his principles and prejudices, 
personal and political, gave us no reason to doubt 
whether he had truly quoted the information he 
alleges to have received from Mr. Adams, I should 
then say, that in some of the particulars, Mr. Adams 
memory has led him into unquestionable error. At 
the age of eighty -eight, and forty-seven years after 
the transactions of Independence, this is not won 
derful. Nor should I, at the age of eighty, on the 
small advantage of that difference only, venture to 
oppose my memory to his, were it not supported by 
written notes, taken by myself at the moment and 
on the spot. He says, "the committee of five, to 
wit, Dr. Franklin, Sherman, Livingston, and our 
selves, met, discussed the subject, and then ap 
pointed him and myself to make the draught; that 
we, as a sub-committee, met, and after the urgen 
cies of each on the other, I consented to undertake 
the task; that the draught being made, we, the 
sub-committee, met, and conned the paper over, 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 37 

and he does not remember that he made or sug 
gested a single alteration." Now these details are 
quite incorrect. The committee of five met; no 
such thing as a sub-committee was proposed, but 
they unanimously pressed on myself alone to under 
take the draught. I consented; I drew it; but 
before I reported it to the committee, I communi 
cated it separately to Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams, 
requesting their corrections, because they were the 
two members of whose judgments and amendments 
I wished most to have the benefit, before presenting 
it to the committee ; and you have seen the original 
paper now in my hands, with the corrections of Dr. 
Franklin and Mr. Adams interlined in their own 
hand writings. Their alterations were two or three 
only, and merely verbal. I then wrote a fair copy, 
reported it to the committee, and from them, un 
altered, to Congress. This personal communication 
and consultation with Mr. Adams, he has misre- 
membered into the actings of a sub-committee. 
Pickering s observations, and Mr. Adams in ad 
dition, that it contained no new ideas, that it is a 
common -place compilation, its sentiments hacknied 
in Congress for two years before, and its essence 
contained in Otis pamphlet," may all be true. Of 
that I am not to be the judge. Richard Henry Lee 
charged it as copied from Locke s treatise on govern 
ment. Otis pamphlet I never saw, and whether I 
had gathered my ideas from reading or reflection I 
do not know. I know only that I turned to neither 
book nor pamphlet while writing it. I did not con 
sider it as any part of my charge to invent new ideas 

3o8 The Writings of [1823 

altogether, and to offer no sentiment which had 
ever been expressed before. Had Mr. Adams been 
so restrained, Congress would have lost the benefit 
of his bold and impressive advocations of the rights 
of Revolution. For no man s confident and fervid 
addresses, more than Mr. Adams , encouraged and 
supported us through the difficulties surrounding 
us, which, like the ceaseless action of gravity 
weighed on us by night and by day. Yet, on the 
same ground, we may ask what of these elevated 
thoughts was new, or can be affirmed never before to 
have entered the conceptions of man ? 

Whether, also, the sentiments of Independence, 
and the reasons for declaring it, which make so 
great a portion of the instrument, had been hack 
neyed in Congress for two years before the 4th of 
July, 76, or this dictum also of Mr. Adams be 
another slip of memory, let history say. This, 
however, I will say for Mr. Adams, that he sup 
ported the Declaration with zeal and ability, fighting 
fearlessly for every word of it. As to myself, I 
thought it a duty to be, on that occasion, a passive 
auditor of the opinions of others, more impartial 
judges than I could be, of its merits or demerits. 
During the debate I was sitting by Doctor Franklin, 
and he observed that I was writhing a little under 
the acrimonious criticisms on some of its parts; 
and it was on that occasion, that by way of comfort, 
he told me the story of John Thompson, the hatter, 
and his new sign. 

Timothy thinks the instrument the better for 
having a fourth of it expunged. He would have 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 39 

thought it still better, had the other three-fourths 
gone out also, all but the single sentiment (the only 
one he approves), which recommends friendship to 
his dear England, whenever she is willing to be at 
peace with us. His insinuations are, that although 
"the high tone of the instrument was in unison with 
the warm feelings of the times, this sentiment of 
habitual friendship to England should never be 
forgotten, and that the duties it enjoins should 
especially be borne in mind on every celebration of 
this anniversary." In other words, that the Declara 
tion, as being a libel on the government of England, 
composed in times of passion, should now be buried 
in utter oblivion, to spare the feelings of our English 
friends and Angloman fellow -citizens. But it is not 
to wound them that we wish to keep it in mind ; but 
to cherish the principles of the instrument in the 
bosoms of our own citizens: and it is a heavenly 
comfort to see that these principles are yet so 
strongly felt, as to render a circumstance so trifling 
as this little lapse of memory of Mr. Adams, worthy 
of being solemnly announced and supported at an 
anniversary assemblage of the nation on its birthday. 
In opposition, however, to Mr. Pickering, I pray 
God that these principles may be eternal, and close 
the prayer with my affectionate wishes for yourself 
of long life, health and happiness. 


MONTICELLO, September 4, 1823. 

DEAR SIR, Your letter of August the i$th 
was received in due time, and with the welcome of 

310 The Writings of [1823 

everything which comes from you. With its opin 
ions on the difficulties of revolutions from despotism 
to freedom, I very much concur. The generation 
which commences a revolution rarely completes it. 
Habituated from their infancy to passive submission 
of body and mind to their kings and priests, they are 
not qualified when called on to think and provide 
for themselves; and their inexperience, their ig 
norance and bigotry make them instruments often, 
in the hands of the Bonapartes and Iturbides, to 
defeat their own rights and purposes. This is the 
present situation of Europe and Spanish America. 
But it is not desperate. The light which has been 
shed on mankind by the art of printing, has emi 
nently changed the condition of the world. As yet, 
that light has dawned on the middling classes only 
of the men in Europe. The kings and the rabble, of 
equal ignorance, have not yet received its rays; but 
it continues to spread, and while printing is pre 
served, it can no more recede than the sun return on 
his course. A first attempt to recover the right of 
self-government may fail, so may a second, a third, 
&c. But as a younger and more instructed race 
comes on, the sentiment becomes more and more 
intuitive, and a fourth, a fifth, or some subsequent 
one of the ever renewed attempts will ultimately 
succeed. In France, the first effort was defeated 
by Robespierre, the second by Bonaparte, the third 
by Louis XVIII. and his holy allies: another is 
yet to come, and all Europe, Russia excepted, has 
caught the spirit; and all will attain representative 
government, more or less perfect. This is now well 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 3 1 l 

understood to be a necessary check on kings, whom 
they will probably think it more prudent to chain 
and tame, than to exterminate. To attain all this, 
however, rivers of blood must yet flow, and years of 
desolation pass over; yet the object is worth rivers 
of blood, and years of desolation. For what in 
heritance so valuable, can man leave to his posterity ? 
The spirit of the Spaniard, and his deadly and 
eternal hatred to a Frenchman, give me much con 
fidence that he will never submit, but finally defeat 
this atrocious violation of the laws of God and man, 
under which he is suffering; and the wisdom and 
firmness of the Cortes, afford reasonable hope, that 
that nation will settle down in a temperate repre 
sentative government, with an executive properly 
subordinated to that. Portugal, Italy, Prussia, Ger 
many, Greece, will follow suit. You and I shall 
look down from another world on these glorious 
achievements to man, which will add to the joys 
even of heaven. 

I observe your toast of Mr. Jay on the 4th of July, 
wherein you say that the omission of his signature to 
the Declaration of Independence was by accident. 
Our impressions as to this fact being different, I 
shall be glad to have mine corrected, if wrong. Jay, 
you know, had been in constant opposition to our 
laboring majority. Our estimate at the time was, 
that he, Dickinson and Johnson of Maryland, by 
their ingenuity, perseverance and partiality to our 
English connection, had constantly kept us a year 
behind where we ought to have been in our prepara 
tions and proceedings. From about the date of the 

312 The Writings of [1823 

Virginia instructions of May the i5th, 1776, to de 
clare Independence, Mr. Jay absented himself from 
Congress, and never came there again until Decem 
ber, 1778. Of course, he had no part in the discus 
sions or decision of that question. The instructions 
to their Delegates by the Convention of New 
York, then sitting, to sign the Declaration, were 
presented to Congress on the i5th of July only, and 
on that day the journals show the absence of Mr. 
Jay, by a letter received from him, as they had done 
as early as the 2Qth of May by another letter. And 
I think he had been omitted by the convention on a 
new election of Delegates, when they changed their 
instructions. Of this last fact, however, having no 
evidence but an ancient impression, I shall not 
affirm it. But whether so or not, no agency of 
accident appears in the case. This error of fact, 
however, whether yours or mine, is of little conse 
quence to the public. But truth being as cheap as 
error, it is as well to rectify it for our own satisfaction. 
I have had a fever of about three weeks, during 
the last and preceding month, from which I am en 
tirely recovered except as to strength. 


MONTICELLO, October 12, 1823. 

DEAR SIR, I do not write with the ease which 
your letter of September the i8th supposes. Crip 
pled wrists and fingers make writing slow and labori 
ous. But while writing to you, I lose the sense of 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 313 

these things in the recollection of ancient times, when 
youth and health made happiness out of everything. 
I forget for a while the hoary winter of age, when we 
can think of nothing but how to keep ourselves warm, 
and how to get rid of our heavy hours until the 
friendly hand of death shall rid us of all at once. 
Against this tedium vitce, however, I am fortunately 
mounted on a hobby, which, indeed, I should have 
better managed some thirty or forty years ago ; but 
whose easy amble is still sufficient to give exercise 
and amusement to an octogenary rider. This is 
the establishment of a University, on a scale more 
comprehensive, and in a country more healthy and 
central than our old William and Mary, which these 
obstacles have long kept in a state of languor and 
inefficiency. But the tardiness with which such 
works proceed, may render it doubtful whether I 
shall live to see it go into action. 

Putting aside these things, however, for the pre 
sent, I write this letter as due to a friendship coeval 
with our government, and now attempted to be 
poisoned, when too late in life to be replaced by 
new affections. I had for sometime observed in the 
public papers, dark hints and mysterious inuendoes 
of a correspondence of yours with a friend, to whom 
you had opened your bosom without reserve, and 
which was to be made public by that friend or his 
representative. And now it is said to be actually 
published. It has not yet reached us, but extracts 
have been given, and such as seemed most likely 
to draw a curtain of separation between you and 
myself. Were there no other motive than that of 

3H The Writings of [1823 

indignation against the author of this outrage on 
private confidence, whose shaft seems to have been 
aimed at yourself more particularly, this would make 
it the duty of every honorable mind to disappoint 
that aim, by opposing to its impression a seven -fold 
shield of apathy and insensibility. With me, how 
ever, no such armor is needed. The circumstances 
of the times in which we have happened to live, and 
the partiality of our friends at a particular period, 
placed us in a state of apparent opposition, which 
some might suppose to be personal also; and there 
might not be wanting those who wished to make it 
so, by filling our ears with malignant falsehoods, by 
dressing up hideous phantoms of their own creation, 
presenting them to you under my name, to me under 
yours, and endeavoring to instil into our minds 
things concerning each other the most destitute of 
truth. And if there had been, at any time, a 
moment when we were off our guard, and in a tem 
per to let the whispers of these people make us forget 
what we had known of each other for so many years, 
and years of so much trial, yet all men who have 
attended to the workings of the human mind, who 
have seen the false colors under which passion some 
times dresses the actions and motives of others, have 
seen also those passions subsiding with time and 
reflection, dissipating like mists before the rising 
sun, and restoring to us the sight of all things in 
their true shape and colors. It would be strange 
indeed, if, at our years, we were to go back an age 
to hunt up imaginary or forgotten facts, to disturb 
the repose of affections so sweetening to the evening 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 315 

of our lives. Be assured, my dear Sir, that I am 
incapable of receiving the slightest impression from 
the effort now made to plant thorns on the pillow of 
age, worth and wisdom, and to sow tares between 
friends who have been such for near half a century. 
Beseeching you then, not to suffer your mind to be 
disquieted by this wicked attempt to poison its 
peace, and praying you to throw it by among the 
things which have never happened, I add sincere 
assurances of my unabated and constant attach 
ment, friendship and respect. 


MONTICELLO Oct. l8. 23. 

DEAR SIR, I return you Mr. Coxe s letter which 
has cost me much time at two or three different 
attempts to decypher it. Had I such a correspond 
ent I should certainly admonish him that if he 
would not so far respect my time as to write to me 
legibly, I should so far respect it myself as not to 
waste it in decomposing and recomposing his 

The jarrings between the friends of Hamilton and 
Pickering will be of advantage to the cause of truth. 
It will denudate the monarchism of the former and 
justify our opposition to him, and the malignity of 
the latter which nullifies his testimony in all cases 
which his passion can discolor. God bless you, and 
preserve you many years. 

316 The Writings of [1823 


MONTICELLO, Oct. 19. 23. 

DEAR SIR, I forward you the inclosed letter on 
the same ground on which it is addressed to me, and 
not that Duane has any moral claims on us. His 
defection from the republican ranks, his transition 
to the Federalists, and giving triumph, in an im 
portant state, to wrong over right, have dissolved, of 
his own seeking, his connection with us. Yet the 
energy of his press, when our cause was laboring, 
and all but lost, under the overwhelming weight of 
it s powerful adversaries, it s unquestionable effect 
in the revolution produced in the public mind, which 
arrested the rapid march of our government towards 
monarchy, overweigh in fact the demerit of his de 
sertion, when we had become too strong to suffer 
from it sensibly. He is in truth the victim of 
passions which his principles were not strong enough 
to controul. Altho therefore we are not bound to 
clothe him with the best robe, to put a ring on his 
finger, and to kill the fatted calf for him, yet neither 
should we leave him to eat husks with the swine. 
His advocate may look too high when he talks of the 
Post office; but if some more secondary birth 
should be vacant (as Depy collector, Inspector, 
Nav. officer) something which would feed and 
cover him decently, I am persuaded it would be a 
gratification to the old republicans, who do not feel 
that all he has done is cancelled by one false step. 
As to any particular demerits towards yourself, 
without recollecting them, I am sure you were above 
their infliction, & the more so as he was then fighting 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 317 

openly in the ranks of the enemy. But all this is 
left to your own feelings and reflection, being written 
only " ut valeat quantum valere potest." Dios 
guarde a Vm muchos anos. 1 

1 Jefferson later wrote to Monroe : 

" MONTO. July 2. 24. 

" DEAR SIR, I took the liberty some time last fall of placing Mr. 
Duane under your notice, should anything occur adapted to his 
qualifns and to his situation which I understood to be needy in the 
extreme. His talents and informn are certainly great, and the services 
he rendered us when we needed them and his personal sacrifices and 
sufferings were signal and efficacious and left on us a moral duty not to 
forget him under misfortune. His subsequent aberrations were after 
we were too strong to be injured by them. I have lately reed, a letter 
from him, which I inclose because it will better shew his prospects of 
distress and anxieties for relief than anything I could say. Whether 
the latter may too much influence his reasonable hopes, you are the 
proper judge. If they do, his former merits will still claim a recol 
lection on any proper occasion which may occur. I perform a duty 
in communicating his wish, yours will be to weigh it s relations to the 
public service. I congratulate you on the return of repose after a 
campaign so agitating as the late one. Your nephew who was so 
kind as to call on me a day or two ago, gave me hopes we should see 
you here. During the summer or early autumn I have a visit to 
Bedford in contempln, the time of which is quite immaterial, and 
could I previously know when that of your visit to Albemarle will 
probably be, I should so arrange mine as not to miss the pleasure of 
seeing you here. I salute you with sincere & affectionate respect." 

He also wrote to Duane: 

" MONTICELLO May 31. 24. 

" DEAR SIR, I received a few days ago a pamphlet on the subject of 
America, England and the Holy alliance, and read it with unusual 
interest and concurrence of opn. It furnished a simple and satisfy 
key for the solution of all the riddles of British conduct & policy. 
While considering and conjecturing who could be its author, I happened 
to cast my eye on the few words of superscription, and thot the hand 
writing not unknown to me. I turned to my letters of correspdce. 
and found it s tally which left me no longer at a loss to whom my 
thanks should be addressed, and to return these thanks is the object 
of this letter. In Nov. last I received a letter from some friend of 
yours who chose to be anonymous, suggesting that your situation 
might be bettered and the government advantaged by availing itself 
of your services in some line. I immediately wrote to a friend whose 

3i8 The Writings of [1823 


MONTICELLO, October 24, 1823. 

DEAR SIR, The question presented by the letters 
you have sent me, is the most momentous which has 
ever been offered to my contemplation since that of 
Independence. That made us a nation, this sets 
our compass and points the course which we are to 
steer through the ocean of time opening on us. And 
never could we embark on it under circumstances 
more auspicious. Our first and fundamental maxim 
should be, never to entangle ourselves in the broils 
of Europe. Our second, never to suffer Europe 
to intermeddle with cis-Atlantic affairs. America, 
North, and South, has a set of interests distinct 
from those of Europe, and peculiarly her own. She 
should therefore have a system of her own, separate 
and apart from that of Europe. While the last is 
laboring to become the domicil of despotism, our 
endeavor should surely be, to make our hemisphere 
that of freedom. One nation, most of all, could 
disturb us in this pursuit; she now offers to lead, 
aid, and accompany us in it. By acceding to her 
proposition, we detach her from the bands, bring 
her mighty weight into the scale of free government, 

situation enabled him to attend to this. I have received no answer 
but hope it is kept in view. I am long since withdrawn from the 
political world, think little, read less, and know all but nothing of 
what is going on; but I have not forgotten the past nor those who 
were fellow-laborers in the gloomy hours of federal ascendancy when 
the spirit of republicanism was beaten down, its votaries arraigned 
as criminals, and such threats denounced as posterity would never 
believe. My means of service are slender; but such as they are, if 
you can make them useful to you in any sollicitn. they shall be sin 
cerely employed. In the mean time, I assure you my continued 
frdshp & respect." 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 319 

and emancipate a continent at one stroke, which 
might otherwise linger long in doubt and difficulty, 
Great Britain is the nation which can do us the 
most harm of any one, or all on earth ; and with her 
on our side we need not fear the whole world. With 
her then, we should most sedulously cherish a cordial 
friendship; and nothing would tend more to knit 
our affections than to be fighting once more, side by 
side, in the same cause. Not that I would purchase 
even her amity at the price of taking part in her 
wars. But the war in which the present proposition 
might engage us, should that be its consequence, is 
not her war, but ours. Its object is to introduce 
and establish the American system, of keeping out 
of our land all foreign powers, of never permitting 
those of Europe to intermeddle with the affairs of 
our nations. It is to maintain our own principle, not 
to depart from it. And if, to facilitate this, we can 
effect a division in the body of the European powers, 
and draw over to our side its most powerful member, 
surely we should do it. But I am clearly of Mr. 
Canning s opinion, that it will prevent instead of 
provoking war. With Great Britain withdrawn 
from their scale and shifted into that of our two 
continents, all Europe combined would not under 
take such a war. For how would they propose to 
get at either enemy without superior fleets? Nor is 
the occasion to be slighted which this proposition 
offers, of declaring our protest against the atrocious 
violations of the rights of nations, by the inter 
ference of any one in the internal affairs of an 
other, so flagitiously begun by Bonaparte, and now 

320 The Writings of [1823 

continued by the equally lawless Alliance, calling 
itself Holy. 

But we have first to ask ourselves a question. Do 
we wish to acquire to our own confederacy any one 
or more of the Spanish provinces? I candidly con 
fess, that I have ever looked on Cuba as the most 
interesting addition which could ever be made to 
our system of States. The control which, with 
Florida Point, this island would give us over the 
Gulf of Mexico, and the countries and isthmus bor 
dering on it, as well as all those whose waters flow 
into it, would fill up the measure of our political 
well-being. Yet, as I am sensible that this can 
never be obtained, even with her own consent, but 
by war; and its independence, which is our second 
interest, (and especially its independence of Eng 
land,) can be secured without it, I have no hesitation 
in abandoning my first wish to future chances, and 
accepting its independence, with peace and the 
friendship of England, rather than its association, 
at the expense of war and her enmity. 

I could honestly, therefore, join in the declaration 
proposed, that we aim not at the acquisition of any 
of those possessions, that we will not stand in the 
way of any amicable arrangement between them 
and the mother country; but that we will oppose, 
with all our means, the forcible interposition of 
any other power, as auxiliary, stipendiary, or under 
any other form or pretext, and most especially, 
their transfer to any power by conquest, cession, 
or acquisition in any other way. I should think 
it, therefore, advisable, that the Executive should 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 321 

encourage the British government to a continuance 
in the dispositions expressed in these letters, by an 
assurance of his concurrence with them as far as his 
authority goes ; and that as it may lead to war, the 
declaration of which requires an act of Congress, the 
case shall be laid before them for consideration at 
their first meeting, and under the reasonable aspect 
in which it is seen by himself. 

I have been so long weaned from political sub 
jects, and have so long ceased to take any interest 
in them, that I am sensible I am not qualified to 
offer opinions on them worthy of any attention. 
But the question now proposed involves conse 
quences so lasting, and effects so decisive of our 
future destinies, as to rekindle all the interest I 
have heretofore felt on such occasions, and to induce 
me to the hazard of opinions, which will prove only 
my wish to contribute still my mite towards any 
thing which may be useful to our country. And 
praying you to accept it at only what it is worth, 
I add the assurance of my constant and affectionate 
friendship and respect. 


MONTICELLO, November 4, 1823. 

MY DEAR FRIEND, Two dislocated wrists and 
crippled fingers have rendered writing so slow and 
laborious, as to oblige me to withdraw from nearly 
all correspondence; not however, from yours, while 
I can make a stroke with a pen. We have gone 

VOL. XII. 21. 

322 The Writings of [1823 

through too many trying scenes together, to forget 
the sympathies and affections they nourished. 

Your trials have indeed been long and severe. 
When they will end, is yet unknown, but where they 
will end, cannot be doubted. Alliances, Holy or 
Hellish, may be formed, and retard the epoch of 
deliverance, may swell the rivers of blood which are 
yet to flow, but their own will close the scene, and 
leave to mankind the right of self-government. I 
trust that Spain will prove, that a nation cannot be 
conquered which determines not to be so, and that 
her success will be the turning of the tide of liberty, 
no more to be arrested by human efforts. Whether 
the state of society in Europe can bear a republican 
government, I doubted, you know, when with you, 
and I do now. A hereditary chief, strictly limited, 
the right of war vested in the legislative body, a 
rigid economy of the public contributions, and ab 
solute interdiction of all useless expenses, will go 
far towards keeping the government honest and 
unoppressive. But the only security of all is in a 
free press. The force of public opinion cannot be 
resisted, when permitted freely to be expressed. 
The agitation it produces must be submitted to. 
It is necessary, to keep the waters pure. 

We are all, for example, in agitation even in our 
peaceful country. For in peace as well as in war, the 
mind must be kept in motion. Who is to be the next 
President, is the topic here of every conversation. 
My opinion on that subject is what I expressed to 
you in my last letter. The question will be ulti 
mately reduced to the northernmost and southern- 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 3 2 3 

most candidate. The former will get every federal 
vote in the Union, and many republicans ; the latter, 
all of those denominated of the old school; for you are 
not to believe that these two parties are amalgam 
ated, that the lion and the lamb are lying down to 
gether. The Hartford Convention, the victory of 
Orleans, the peace of Ghent, prostrated the name 
of federalism. Its votaries abandoned it through 
shame and mortification; and now call themselves 
republicans. But the name alone is changed, the 
principles are the same. For in truth, the parties of 
Whig and Tory, are those of nature. They exist in 
all countries, whether called by these names, or by 
those of Aristocrats and Democrats, Cote Droite and 
Cote Gauche, Ultras and Radicals, Serviles and 
Liberals. The sickly, weakly, timid man, fears the 
people, and is a tory by nature. The healthy, strong 
and bold, cherishes them, and is formed a whig by 
nature. On the eclipse of federalism with us, al 
though not its extinction, its leaders got up the Mis 
souri question, under the false front of lessening the 
measure of slavery, but with the real view of rjro- 
ducing a geographical division of parties, which 
might insure them the next President. The people 
of the north went blindfold into the snare, followed 
their leaders for awhile with a zeal truly moral and 
laudable, until they became sensible that they were 
injuring instead of aiding the real interests of the 
slaves, that they had been used merely as tools for 
electioneering purposes ; and that trick of hypocrisy 
then fell as quickly as it had been got up. To that 
is now succeeding a distinction, which, like that of 

324 The Writings of [1823 

republican and federal, or whig and tory, being 
equally intermixed through every state, threatens 
none of those geographical schisms which go im 
mediately to a separation. The line of division 
now, is the preservation of State rights as reserved 
in the constitution, or by strained constructions of 
that instrument, to merge all into a consolidated 
government. The tories are for strengthening the 
executive and general Government; the whigs 
cherish the representative branch, and the rights 
reserved by the States, as the bulwark against 
consolidation, which must immediately generate 
monarchy. And although this division excites, 
as yet, no warmth, yet it exists, is well understood, 
and will be a principle of voting at the ensuing 
election, with the reflecting men of both parties. 

I thank you much for the two books you were so 
kind as to send me by Mr. Gallatin. Miss Wright 
had before favored me with the first edition of her 
American work; but her Few days in Athens, was 
entirely new, and has been a treat to me of the 
highest order. The manner and matter of the dia 
logue is strictly ancient; and the principles of the 
sects are beautifully and candidly explained and 
contrasted; and the scenery and portraiture of the 
interlocutors are of higher finish than anything in 
that line left us by the ancients; and like Ossian, if 
not ancient, it is equal to the best morsels of an 
tiquity. I augur, from this instance, that Her- 
culaneum is likely to furnish better specimens of 
modern than of ancient genius; and may we not 
hope more from the same pen? 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 325 

After much sickness and the accident of a broken 
and disabled arm, I am again in tolerable health, but 
extremely debilitated, so as to be scarcely able to 
walk into my garden. The hebetude of age, too, and 
extinguishment of interest in the things around me, 
are weaning me from them and dispose me with 
cheerfulness to resign them to the existing genera 
tion, satisfied that the daily advance of science will 
enable them to administer the commonwealth with 
increased wisdom. You have still many valuable 
years to give to your country, and with my prayers 
that they may be years of health and happiness, 
and especially that they may see the establishment 
of the principles of government which you have 
cherished through life, accept the assurance of my 
affectionate and constant friendship and respect. 



DEAR SIR, I return your letter to the President 
& that of Mr. Rush to you with thanks for the com 
munication. The J matters which Mr. Rush states 
as under considn with the British govmt are verily 
interesting. But that about the navigation of the 
St. Lawrence & Misspi. I would rather they would 
let alone. The navign. of the former, since the 

1 "to wit. i. Our commercial intercourse embracing navign of St. 
Lawrence & Missipi. 

2. Suppression of slave trade. 

3. Northern boundary. 

4. Fisheries on W. coast of N. F-land. 

5. Points of Maritime law. 

6. Russian Ukase as to N. W. coast of America." T. J. 

326 The Writings of [1823 

N. Y. canal, is of too little interest to be cared about, 
that of the latter too serious on account of the inlet 
it would give to British smuggling and British tam 
pering with the Indians. It would be an entering 
wedge to incalculable mischief, a powerful agent 
towds. separating the states. 

I send you the rough draught of the letter I pro 
pose to write to F. Gilmer for your considn. and 
correction and salute you aff ectly. 



You have sent me, dear Sir, a noble animal, 
legitimated by superior force as a monarch of the 
Forest; and he has incurred the death which his 
brother legitimates have so much more merited; 
like them, in death, he becomes food for a nobler 
race, he for man, they for worms that will revel on 
them, but he dies innocent, and with death all his 
fears and pains are at an end; they die loaded with 
maledictions, and liable to a sentence and sufferings 
which we will leave to the justice of heaven to award. 

In plain english we shall feast heartily on him, 
and thank you heartily as the giver of the feast. 

With Assurances of friendly esteem and respect. 


MONTICELLO, Dec. 4. 23. 

I thank you, Sir, for the inedited letter of Thos 
Paine which you have been so kind as to send me. 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 327 

I recognise in it the strong pen and dauntless mind 
of Common Sense, which, among the numerous 
pamphlets written on the same occasion, so pre 
eminently united us in our revolutionary opposition. 

I return the two numbers of the periodical paper, 
as they appear to make part of a regular file. The 
language of these is too harsh, more caluclated to 
irritate than to convince or to persuade. A devoted 
friend myself to freedom of religious enquiry and 
opinion, I am pleased to see others exercise the right 
without reproach or censure; and I respect their 
conclusions, however different from my own. It 
is their own reason, not mine, nor that of any other, 
which has been given them by their creator for the 
investigation of truth, and of the evidences even 
of those truths which are presented to us as revealed 
by himself. Fanaticism, it is true, is not sparing of 
her invectives against those who refuse blindly to 
follow her dictates in abandonment of their own 
reason. For the use of this reason, however, every 
one is responsible to the God who has planted it in 
his breast, as a light for his guidance, and that, by 
which alone he will be judged. Yet why retort 
invectives? It is better always to set a good ex 
ample than to follow a bad one. 

I received, in due time, the letter you mention of 
Jan. 27. and did not answer it, because the pain of 
writing has obliged me, for sometime, to withdraw 
from all correspondence not of moral and inde- 
spensable obligation. The duty of returning the 
inclosed papers furnishes the present occasion of 
tendering you my friendly and respectful salutations. 

328 The Writings of [1823 


MONTO Dec. ii. 23. 

DEAR SIR, I duly reed your favor of the 23d ult. 
as also the 2 pamphlets you were so kind as to send 
me. That on the tariff I observed was soon re 
printed in Ritchie s Enquirer. I was only sorry he 
did not postpone it to the meeting of Congress when 
it would have got into the hands of all the members 
and could not fail to have great effect, perhaps a 
decisive one. It is really an extraordinary proposi 
tion that the Agricultural, mercantile & navigating 
classes should be taxed to maintain that of manu 
factures. That the doctrine of materialism was 
that of Jesus himself was a new idea to me. Yet it 
is proved unquestionably. We all know it was that 
of some of the early Fathers. I hope the physiolog 
ical part will follow. In spite of the prevailing 
fanaticism reason will make it s way. I confess 
that it s reign is at present appalling. General 
education is the true remedy, and that most happily 
is now generally encouraged. The story you men 
tion as gotten up by your opponents of my having 
advised the trustees of our University to turn you 
out as a Professor is quite in their stile of barefaced 
mendacity. They find it so easy to obliterate the 
reason of mankind that they think they may enter- 
prize safely on his memory also. For it was the 
winter before the last only that our annual report 
to the legislature, printed in the newspapers stated 
the precise ground on which we relinquished your 
engagement with our Central College. And, if my 
memory does not deceive me it was on your own 

1823] Thomas Jefferson 3 2 9 

proposition that the time of our getting into opera 
tion being postponed indefinitely, it was important 
to you not to lose an opportunity of fixing yourself 
permanently. And that they should father on me too 
the motive for this dismission, than whom no man 
living cherishes a higher estimation of your worth, 
talents, & information. But so the world goes. 
Man is fed with fables thro life, leaves it in the be 
lief he has known something of what has been pass 
ing, when in truth he has known nothing but what 
has passed under his own eye. And who are the 
great deceivers? Those who solemnly pretend to 
be the depositories of the sacred truths of God him 
self. I will not believe that the liberality of the 
state to which you are rendering services in science 
which no other man in the union is qualified to 
render it, will suffer you to be in danger from a set 
of conjurors. I note what you say of Mr. Finch; 
but the moment of our commencement is as in 
definite as it ever was. Affectionately & respect 
fully yours. 


MONTO Dec. 18. 23. 

DEAR GENERAL, The apology in your letter of 
the 8th inst for not calling on me in your passage 
thro our nbhood was quite unnecessary. The 
motions of a traveller are always controuled by so 
many imperious circumstances that wishes and 
courtesies must yield to their sway. It was reported 
among us, on I know not what authority, that you 

330 The Writings of [1823 

would be in Charlsvl on the ist inst, on your way to 
Congress. I went there to have the pleasure of pay 
ing you my respects, but after staying some hours, 
met with a person lately from Staunton who as 
sured me you had passed that place & gone on by 
the way of Winchester. I comforted myself then 
with the French adage that what is delayed is not 
therefore lost; and certainly in your passages to 
& from Washington should your travelling con 
venience ever permit a deviation to Monto. I shall 
receive you with distinguished welcome. Perhaps 
our University which you visited in it s unfinished 
state when finished & furnished with it s scientific 
popln, may tempt you to make a little stay with us. 
This will probably be by the close of the ensuing 
year, when it may appear to you worthy of en 
couraging the youth of your quarter as well as others 
to seek there the finishing complement of their 
education. I flatter myself it will assume a stand 
ing secondary to nothing in our country. If I live 
to see this I shall sing with cheerfulness the song of 
old Simeon s nunc dimittis Domine. 

I recall with pleasure the remembrance of our 
joint labors while in Senate together in times of 
great trial and of hard battling. Battles indeed of 
words, not of blood, as those you have since fought 
so much for your own glory & that of your country ; 
with the assurance that my attamts continue undi- 
minished, accept that of my great respect & considn. 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 33 l 


MONTICELLO, Jan. 10, 24. 

Your affectionate mother requests that I would 
address to you, as a namesake, something which 
might have a favorable influence on the course of 
life you have to run. Few words are necessary, 
with good dispositions on your part. Adore God; 
reverence and cherish your parents; love your 
neighbor as yourself, and your country more than 
life. Be just; be true; murmur not at the ways of 
Providence and the life into which you have en 
tered will be one of eternal and ineffable bliss. And 
if to the dead it is permitted to care for the things 
of this world, every action of your life will be under 
my regard. Farewell. 


MONTICELLO Jan. 18. z,[. 

I thank you, Sir, for the copy you were so kind as 
to send me of the revd. Mr. Bancroft s Unitarian 
sermons. I have read them with great satisfaction, 
and always rejoice in efforts to restore us to primi 
tive Christianity, in all the simplicity in which it 
came from the lips of Jesus. Had it never been 
sophisticated by the subtleties of Commentators, 
nor paraphrased into meanings totally foreign to it s 
character, it would at this day have been the religion 
of the whole civilized world. But the metaphysical 
abstractions of Athanasius, and the maniac rav 
ings of Calvin, tinctured plentifully with the foggy 

1 From the Historical Magazine, xviii., 50. 

33 2 The Writings of [1824 

dreams of Plato, have so loaded it with absurdities 
and incomprehensibilities, as to drive into infidelity 
men who had not time, patience, or opportunity to 
strip it of it s meretricious trappings, and to see it 
in all it s native simplicity and purity. I trust how 
ever that the same free exercise of private judgment 
which gave us our political reformation will extend 
it s effects to that of religion, which the present 
volume is well calculated to encourage and promote. 
Not wishing to give offence to those who differ 
from me in opinion, nor to be implicated in a theo 
logical controversy, I have to pray that this letter 
may not get into print, and to assure you of my great 
respect and good will. 


MONTICELLO Jan. 26. 24. 

SIR, I have read with much satisfaction the 
Sermon of Mr. Pierpoint which you / liave been so 
kind as to send to me, and am much pleased with 
the spirit of brotherly forbearance in matters of 
religion which it breathes, and the sound distinction 
it inculcates between the things which belong to us 
to judge, and those which do not. If all Christian 
sects would rally to the Sermon on the mount, make 
that the central point of Union in religion, and the 
stamp of genuine Christianity, (since it gives us all 
the precepts of our duties to one another) why should 
we further ask, with the text of our sermon * * What 
think ye of Christ?" And if one should answer "he 
is a member of the God-head," another " he is a being 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 333 

of eternal pre-existence," a third "he was a man 
divinely inspired," a fourth "he was the Herald of 
truths reformatory of the religions of mankind in 
general, but more immediately of that of his own 
countrymen, impressing them with more sublime 
and more worthy ideas of the Supreme being, teach 
ing them the doctrine of a future state of rewards 
and punishments, and inculcating the love of man 
kind, instead of the anti-social spirit with which the 
Jews viewed all other nations," what right, or what 
interest has either of these respondents to claim 
pre-eminence for his dogma, and, usurping the judg 
ment-seat of God, to condemn all the others to his 
wrath? In this case, I say with the wiser heathen 
deorum injuries, diis cures. 

You press me to consent to the publication of my 
sentiments and suppose they might have effect even 
on Sectarian bigotry. But have they not the Gos 
pel? If they hear not that, and the charities it 
teacheth, neither will they be persuaded though one 
rose from the dead. Such is the malignity of re 
ligious antipathies that, altho the laws will no 
longer permit them, with Calvin, to burn those who 
are not exactly of their Creed, they raise the Hue 
& cry of Heresy against them, place them under the 
ban of public opinion, and shut them out from all 
the kind affections of society. I must pray per 
mission therefore to continue in quiet during the 
short time remaining to me; and, at a time of life 
when the afflictions of the body weigh heavily 
enough, not to superadd those which corrode the 
spirit also, and might weaken it s resignation to 

334 The Writings of [1824 

continuance in a joyless state of being which provi 
dence may yet destine. With these sentiments ac 
cept those of good will and respect to yourself. 


MONTICELLO, February 4, 1824. 

DEAR SIR, I duly received your favor of the isth, 
and with it, the last number of the North American 
Review. This has anticipated the one I should re 
ceive in course, but have not yet received, under my 
subscription to the new series. The article on the 
African colonization of the people of color, to which 
you invite my attention, I have read with great con 
sideration. It is, indeed, a fine one, and will do much 
good. I learn from it more, too, than I had before 
known, of the degree of success and promise of that 

In the disposition of these unfortunate people, 
there are two rational objects to be distinctly kept 
in view. First. The establishment of a colony on 
the coast of Africa, which may introduce among the 
aborigines the arts of cultivated life, and the bless 
ings of civilization and science. By doing this, we 
may make to them some retribution for the long 
course of injuries we have been committing on their 
population. And considering that these blessings 
will descend to the "nati natorum, et qui nascentur 
ab illis," we shall in the long run have rendered them 
perhaps more good than evil. To fulfil this object, 
the colony of Sierra Leone promises well, and that 
of Mesurado adds to our prospect of success. Under 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 335 

this view, the colonization society is to be considered 
as a missionary society, having in view, however, 
objects more humane, more justifiable, and less 
aggressive on the peace of other nations, than the 
others of that appellation. 

The second object, and the most interesting to us, 
as coming home to our physical and moral char 
acters, to our happiness and safety, is to provide an 
asylum to which we can, by degrees, send the whole 
of that population from among us, and establish 
them under our patronage and protection, as a 
separate, free and independent people, in some 
country and climate friendly to human life and 
happiness. That any place on the coast of Africa 
should answer the latter purpose, I have ever 
deemed entirely impossible. And without repeat 
ing the other arguments which have been urged by 
others, I will appeal to figures only, which admit 
no controversy. I shall speak in round numbers, 
not absolutely accurate, yet not so wide from truth 
as to vary the result materially. There are in the 
United States a million and a half of people of color 
in slavery. To send off the whole of these at once, 
nobody conceives to be practicable for us, or ex 
pedient for them. Let us take twenty-five years 
for its accomplishment, within which time they will 
be doubled. Their estimated value as property, in 
the first place, (for actual property has been law 
fully vested in that form, and who can lawfully take 
it from the possessors?) at an average of two hundred 
dollars each, young and old, would amount to six 
hundred millions of dollars, which must be paid or 

33 6 The Writings of [1824 

lost by somebody. To this, add the cost of their 
transportation by land and sea to Mesurado, a 
year s provision of food and clothing, implements of 
husbandry and of their trades, which will amount 
to three hundred millions more, making thirty-six 
millions of dollars a year for twenty -five years, with 
insurance of peace all that time, and it is impossible 
to look at the question a second time. I am aware 
that at the end of about sixteen years, a gradual 
detraction from this sum will commence, from the 
gradual diminution of breeders, and go on during 
the remaining nine years. Calculate this deduction, 
and it is still impossible to look at the enterprise a 
second time. I do not say this to induce an in 
ference that the getting rid of them is forever im 
possible. For that is neither my opinion nor my 
hope. But only that it cannot be done in this way. 
There is, I think, a way in which it can be done; 
that is, by emancipating the after-born, leaving them, 
on due compensation, with their mothers, until their 
services are worth their maintenance, and then put 
ting them to industrious occupations, until a proper 
age for deportation. This was the result of my 
reflections on the subject five and forty years ago, 
and I have never yet been able to conceive any other 
practicable plan. It was sketched in the Notes on 
Virginia, under the fourteenth query. The estim 
ated value of the new-born infant is so low, (say 
twelve dollars and fifty cents,) that it would prob 
ably be yielded by the owner gratis, and would thus 
reduce the six hundred millions of dollars, the first 
head of expense, to thirty -seven millions and a half; 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 337 

leaving only the expense of nourishment while with 
the mother, and of transportation. And from what 
fund are these expenses to be furnished? Why not 
from that of the lands which have been ceded by the 
very States now needing this relief? And ceded on 
no consideration, for the most part, but that of the 
general good of the whole. These cessions already 
constitute one fourth of the States of the Union. It 
may be said that these lands have been sold; are 
now the property of the citizens composing those 
States; and the money long ago received and ex 
pended. But an equivalent of lands in the terri 
tories since acquired, may be appropriated to that 
object, or so much, at least, as may be sufficient; 
and the object, although more important to the 
slave States, is highly so to the others also, if they 
were serious in their arguments on the Missouri 
question. The slave States, too, if more interested, 
would also contribute more by their gratuitous 
liberation, thus taking on themselves alone the first 
and heaviest item of expense. 

In the plan sketched in the Notes on Virginia, no 
particular place of asylum was specified; because 
it was thought possible, that in the revolutionary 
state of America, then commenced, events might 
open to us some one within practicable distance. 
This has now happened. St. Domingo has become 
independent, and with a population of that color 
only; and if the public papers are to be credited, 
their Chief offers to pay their passage, to receive 
them as free citizens, and to provide them employ 
ment. This leaves, then, for the general confederacy, 

VOL. XII. 22. 

33 8 The Writings of [1824 

no expense but of nurture with the mother a 
few years, and would call, of course, for a very 
moderate appropriation of the vacant lands. Sup 
pose the whole annual increase to be of sixty thou 
sand effective births, fifty vessels, of four hundred 
tons burthen each, constantly employed in that 
short run, would carry off the increase of every 
year, and the old stock would die off in the ordinary 
course of nature, lessening from the commencement 
until its final disappearance. In this way no viola 
tion of private right is proposed. Voluntary sur 
renders would probably come in as fast as the means 
to be provided for their care would be competent to 
it. Looking at my own State only, and I presume 
not to speak for the others, I verily believe that this 
surrender of property would not amount to more, 
annually, than half our present direct taxes, to be 
continued fully about twenty or twenty -five years, 
and then gradually diminishing for as many more 
until their final extinction; and even this half tax 
would not be paid in cash, but by the delivery of an 
object which they have never yet known or counted 
as part of their property; and those not possessing 
the object will be called on for nothing. I do not go 
into all the details of the burthens and benefits of 
this operation. And who could estimate its blessed 
effects? I leave this to those who live to see their 
accomplishment, and to enjoy a beatitude forbidden 
to my age. But I leave it with this admonition, to 
rise and be doing. A million and a half are within 
their control; but six millions, (which a majority 
of those now living will see them attain,) and one 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 339 

million of these fighting men, will say, "we will not 


I am aware that this subject involves some con 
stitutional scruples. But a liberal construction, justi 
fied by the object, may go far, and an amendment 
of the constitution, the whole length necessary. 
The separation of infants from their mothers, too, 
would produce some scruples of humanity. But 
this would be straining at a gnat, and swallowing a 

I am much pleased to see that you have taken up 
the subject of the duty on imported books. I hope 
a crusade will be kept up against it, until those in 
power shall become sensible of this stain on our 
legislation, and shall wipe it from their code, and 
from the remembrance of man, if possible. 

I salute you with assurances of high respect and 


MONTO. Feb. 5. 24. 

DEAR SIR, The inclosed letter is from a person 
entirely unknown to me. Yet it seems to expect a 
confidence which prudence cannot give to a stranger, 
and as he seems to write under your authority I 
take the liberty of confiding my answer to yourself 
directly & of returning his paper to you. I do not 
know that the publicn of the papers of the old 
Congress could be objected to, except such as 
might contain personalties of no consequence to his 
tory. But care should be taken that they should be 

340 The Writings of [1824 

impartially published and not all on one side. We 
have seen how false a face may be given to history 
by the garbling of documents. And even during 
the old Congress and in it s body we had our whigs 
& tories. Mr. Wagner says that for the present he 
acknoleges no party, and supposes his continuance 
in office during 6 y. of my admn a proof of his 
fidelity and impartiality even while he was a party 
man. But every one knows that the clerks of the 
offices had been appd under federal heads * and 
that I never medled with none of them. His con 
version from vehemence to neutrality, having taken 
place only since his withdrawing from the Editor 
ship of the Baltimore Federalist, the proofs of it 
have not yet reached our part of the country. Yet 
his word need not be doubted farther than as we all 
believe ourselves neutral. He is certainly capable 
of the task, and has the advge of being familiar with 
the arrangmt of the papers, yet not more so than 
the gentlemen now in that office & who have been 
longer in it than he was. On the whole my opinion 
is fable to the publicn when it can be fairly made 
but that it s want is not so pressing but that it is 
better to let it wait till it can be so done as to give 
to history it s true face. 

I shall be among those most rejoiced at seeing La 
Fayette again. But I hope Congress is prepared to 
go thro with their compliment worthily. That 
they do not mean to invite him merely to dine, that 
provision will be made for his expences here, which 

1 "Who appd federalists only and exclusively, that the whole mass 
of them were federal." T. J. 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 341 

you know he cannot afford, and that they will not 
send him back empty handed. This would place 
us under indelible disgrace in Europe. Some 3. or 
4. good townships, in Missouri, or Louisiana or 
Alabama &c. should be in readiness for him, and 
may restore his family to the opulence which his 
virtues have lost to them. I suppose the time of 
the visit will be left to himself, as the death of 
Louis XVIII which has probably taken place or 
soon must do will produce a crisis in his own country 
from which he could not absent himself by a visit 
of compliment. Ever & affectly yours. 


MONTICELLO, February 14, 1824. 

DEAR SIR, I have to thank you for the copy of 
Colonel Taylor s New Views of the Constitution, and 
shall read them with the satisfaction and edification 
which I have ever derived from whatever he has 
written. But I fear it is the voice of one crying in 
the wilderness. Those who formerly usurped the 
name of federalists, which, in fact, they never were, 
have now openly abandoned it, and are as openly 
marching by the road of construction, in a direct 
line to that consolidation which was always their 
real object. They, almost to a man, are in posses 
sion of one branch of the government, and appear 
to be very strong in yours. The three great questions 
of amendment now before you, will give the measure 
of their strength. I mean, ist, the limitation of the 

34 2 The Writings of [1824 

term of the presidential service; 2d, the placing the 
choice of president effectually in the hands of the 
people; 3d, the giving to Congress the power of 
internal improvement, on condition that each State s 
federal proportion of the monies so expended, shall 
be employed within the State. The friends of con 
solidation would rather take these powers by con 
struction than accept them by direct investiture 
from the States. Yet, as to internal improvement 
particularly, there is probably not a State in the 
Union which would not grant the power on the con 
dition proposed, or which would grant it without 

The best general key for the solution of questions 
of power between our governments, is the fact that 
"every foreign and federal power is given to the 
federal government, and to the States every power 
purely domestic." I recollect but one instance of 
control vested in the federal, over the State author 
ities in a matter purely domestic, which is that of 
metallic tenders. The federal is, in truth, our 
foreign government, which department alone is taken 
from the sovereignty of the separate States. 

The real friends of the constitution in its federal 
form, if they wish it to be immortal, should be at 
tentive, by amendments, to make it keep pace with 
the advance of the age in science and experience. 
Instead of this, the European governments have re 
sisted reformation, until the people, seeing no other 
resource, undertake it themselves by force, their 
only weapon, and work it out through blood, deso 
lation and long-continued anarchy. Here it will 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 343 

be by large fragments breaking off, and refusing re 
union but on condition of amendment, or perhaps 
permanently. If I can see these three great amend 
ments prevail, I shall consider it as a renewed ex 
tension of the term of our lease, shall live in more 
confidence, and die in more hope. And I do trust 
that the republican mass, which Colonel Taylor 
justly says is the real federal one, is still strong 
enough to carry these truly federo -republican amend 
ments. With my prayers for the issue, accept my 
friendly and respectful salutations. 


MONTO. Feb. 20. 24. 

DEAR SIR, The multiplied sollicitns to interest 
myself with you for applicants for office have been 
uniformly refused by me. In a few cases only 
where facts have been within my knolege, I have 
not been able to refuse stating them as a witness, 
which I have made it a point to do so drily as that 
you might understand that I took no particular 
interest in the case. In a conversn with you how 
ever at the Oakhill some two or three years ago, I 
mentioned to you that there would be one single 
case, and but one in the whole world into which I 
should go with my whole heart and soul, and ask as 
if it were for myself. It was that whenever the 
Post office or Collector s office at Richmd. either of 
them should become vacant, you would name Colo. 
B. Peyton to it, and preferably to the P. O. if both 

344 The Writings of [1824 

were to be vacant. The incumbents have for years 
been thought ready for their exit, and Foushee 
stated to be now at death s door, yet I would not 
ask this were there a man in the world more capable, 
more diligent or more honest than Peyton, one of 
higher worth or more general favor or to whom I 
would give it myself in preference to him. He is 
all this, and I will be responsible that his nomina 
tion will not only be a general gratificn, but I believe 
a more general one than any other not only to the 
vicinage but to the legislature & to the state for he 
is very generally known having been a captain in the 
late war and since that a Commn merch. of uncom 
mon esteem. To me it will be a supreme gratifn for 
I look on him with almost the eyes of a father. I 
know you will be most strongly sollicited for others, 
and those too of unexceptional merit and great 
interest. I will say boldly however for no one who 
will execute the office more faithfully & diligently 
or with more comity than Peyton. 1 Grant me this, 

1 As regards this appointment, Jefferson wrote Richard Rush: 

"Among the duties of your present station you will find the most 
painful to be that of appmt to office. To 20 applicns 19. negatives 
must be given, and what word in our language is so difficult to be pro 
nounced as no? On retiremt from office myself, knowing how much 
I should be harrassed to sollicit for others, I came to a determination 
to say no at once, and to all. I could not indeed refuse to say when 
required what I knew of an applicant, but made it a point to ac 
company that with no request or sollicitn from myself. I departed 
from my rule in one case only. I asked but did not obtain. It was 
for Colo. B. Peyton of Richmond for whom I entertained a very sincere 
frdshp. He was a meritorious officer in our late war, honest, capable, 
active and attentive to business, kind to all, and beloved by all, with 
a family fast growing on his hands and nothing to provide for them 
but his own industry. His line was that of commns business which 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 345 

and as I never have, so I never will again put your 
friendship to the trial as for myself. I inform Pey 
ton that I have written to you, and desire him at 
the moment of the occurrence to address a letter to 
yourself directly that no time may be lost by it s 
passing thro me, for not a moment will be lost by 
others, and the earlier the notice to you, the sooner 

he still follows. Particular circumstances had interested me highly 
in his favor. There were two offices in Richmd either of which would 
have put him at ease. The one was that of P. M. the incumbent of 
which had recently died, and I asked it for him with the same earnest 
ness as if for myself and on the ground of my having never before 
asked anything from the govmt personally. It was given to another. 
The other office is that of the collector of the port of Richmd. now 
held by Majr. Gibson, as worthy a man as could hold it, and one whom 
no one would ever wish to see withdrawn. But he is now advanced 
in years and in a very low state of health. He is at present gone to 
the springs to recruit if possible and I wish he may, but it is not 
expected. Should anything happen to him it would be a 2d chance 
given me of getting something done for my friend Peyton. This is 
within your deptmt, and to you therefore I address my request to 
think of him on that event, and if no moral considn gives a higher 
claim to any other, give it to him, if only for my sake. Notwithstdg 
Gibson s ill health however my own and my age gives me no right to 
expect to be the survivor of the two. In that case I bequeath my 
friend as a legacy to you. And I pray you to be assured of my best 
affection & respect." 

He seems to have felt this refusal keenly, for he had previously 
written to Leiper: 

" MONTO [Oct. 27, 24]. 

"Mv GOOD FRIEND, Since my solicitation of July 22. at your re 
quest the ground on which I stand is entirely changed, and it is be 
come impossible for me to ask anything further from the govmt. I 
cannot explain this to you, and even request you not to mention the 
fact. I should not have said it to you, but that I cannot offer you 
false excuses. My frdshp for you is the same, but this method of 
proving it is no longer in my power. Be assured of my constant & 
affect 6 attmt." 

See also the letter to Monroe of July 18, 1824, and to Leiper of 
Dec. 6, 1824. 

346 The Writings of [1824 

you may be able to preclude other importunities. I 
salute you with constant affection & respect. 


MONTICELLO Mar. 27. 24. 

DEAR SIR, I receive Mr. Livingston s question 
through you with kindness and answer it without 
hesitation. He may be assured I have not a spark 
of unfriendly feeling towards him. In all the earlier 
scenes of life we thought and acted together. We 
differed in opinion afterwards on a single point. 
Each maintained his opinion, as he had a right, and 
acted on it as he ought. But why brood over a 
single difference, and forget all our previous har 
monies? Difference of opinion was never, with me, 
a motive of separation from a friend. In the trying 
times of federalism, I never left a friend. Many 
left me, have since returned, and been received with 
open arms. Mr. Livingston would now be received 
at Monticello with as hearty a welcome as he would 
have been in 1800. The case with Mr. Adams was 
much stronger. Fortune had disjointed our first 
affections, and placed us in opposition in every 
point. This separated us for a while. But on the 
first intimation thro a friend, we re-embraced with 
cordiality, recalled our antient feelings and dis 
positions, and every thing was forgotten but our 
first sympathies. I bear ill-will to no human being. 

Another item of your letter fills my heart with 
thankfulness. With the other competitor it is an 
imaginary want, a mere change of lounge, to fill up 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 347 

the vacancies of mind. Ever affectionately and 
respectfully yours. 


MONTO. Apr. 3. 24. 

I am really done, my friend, with politics, not 
withstanding the doubts you express in your favor 
of Mar. 1 6. There is a time for everything, for act 
ing in this world, and for getting ready to leave it. 
The last is now come upon me. You, I hope, will 
hold out as long as you can, because what you do, I 
know will always be done for the good of our fellow- 
men. With respect to the European combins against 
the rights of man I join an honest Irishman of my 
nbhood in his 4th of July toast "the Holy alliance, 
to Hell the whole of them." 

In the Presidential election I am entirely passive. 
The pretended letter of mine to which you allude 
is a faithless travestie of what I really wrote. That 
was addressed to a friend, who had sollicited my 
thoughts on the subject. It expressed no prefer 
ence of any and in terms which could give offence to 
none. He incautiously read the letter to a zealous 
partisan, who published it from memory and with 
perversions of terms adapted to his own wishes. I 
am truly sorry to see the foolish and wicked para 
graph from a Richmond paper which you inclosed 
me. The frdly dispositions which have so long pre 
vailed between Pensve & Virge and which have been 
so salutary to republican principles and govmt, are 
not I hope to be ruffled by a paper recently set up, 

348 The Writings of [1824 

and which if conducted in the spirit of that para 
graph will as certainly be soon put down. These 
states happen at present to differ in the object of 
their choice. Both favorites are republican, both will 
administer the govmt honestly, which with the most 
wisdom each state has a right to hope for itself. 
But such a difference, between thinking and rational 
men should excite no more feeling than a difference 
of faces; and seeing as I do, the permanence of our 
union hanging on the harmony of Pennsva & Virge, 
I hope that will continue as long as our govmt con 
tinues to be a blessing to mankind. To yourself 
long life, long health & prosperity. 


MONTICELLO, April 4, 1824. 

DEAR SIR, It was with great pleasure I learned 
that the good people of New Orleans had restored 
you again to the councils of our country. I did not 
doubt the aid it would bring to the remains of our 
old school in Congress, in which your early labors 
had been so useful. You will find, I suppose, on 
revisiting our maritime States, the names of things 
more changed than the things themselves; that 
though our old opponents have given up their ap 
pellation, they have not, in assuming ours, aban 
doned their views, and that they are as strong nearly 
as they ever were. These cares, however, are no 
longer mine. I resign myself cheerfully to the 
managers of the ship, and the more contentedly, as I 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 349 

am near the end of my voyage. I have learned to 
be less confident in the conclusions of human reason, 
and give more credit to the honesty of contrary 
opinions. The radical idea of the character of the 
constitution of our government, which I have 
adopted as a key in cases of doubtful construction, 
is, that the whole field of government is divided into 
two departments, domestic and foreign, (the States 
in their mutual relations being of the latter;) that 
the former department is reserved exclusively to the 
respective States within their own limits, and the 
latter assigned to a separate set of functionaries, 
constituting what may be called the foreign branch, 
which, instead of a federal basis, is established as 
a distinct government quoad hoc, acting as the 
domestic branch does on the citizens directly and 
coercively; that these departments have distinct 
directories, co-ordinate, and equally independent 
and supreme, each within its own sphere of action. 
Whenever a doubt arises to which of these branches 
a power belongs, I try it by this test. I recollect no 
case where a question simply between citizens of the 
same State, has been transferred to the foreign de 
partment, except that of inhibiting tenders but of 
metallic money, and ex post facto legislation. The 
causes of these singularities are well remembered. 

I thank you for the copy of your speech on the 
question of national improvement, which I have 
read with great pleasure, and recognize in it those 
powers of reasoning and persuasion of which I had 
formerly seen from you so many proofs. Yet, in 
candor, I must say it has not removed, in my mind, 

350 The Writings of [1824 

all the difficulties of the question. And I should 
really be alarmed at a difference of opinion with you, 
and suspicious of my own, were it not that I have, 
as companions in sentiments, the Madisons, the 
Monroes, the Randolphs, the Macons, all good men 
and true, of primitive principles. In one sentiment 
of the speech I particularly concur. "If we have 
a doubt relative to any power, we ought not to ex 
ercise it." When we consider the extensive and 
deep-seated opposition to this assumption, the con 
viction entertained by so many, that this deduction 
of powers by elaborate construction prostrates the 
rights reserved to the States, the difficulties with 
which it will rub along in the course of its exercise; 
that changes of majorities will be changing the sys 
tem backwards and forwards, so that no under 
taking under it will be safe; that there is not a 
State in the Union which would not give the power 
willingly, by way of amendment, with some little 
guard, perhaps, against abuse; I cannot but think 
it would be the wisest course to ask an express grant 
of the power. A government held together by the 
bands of reason only, requires much compromise of 
opinion; that things even salutary should not be 
crammed down the throats of dissenting brethren, 
especially when they may be put into a form to be 
willingly swallowed, and that a great deal of in 
dulgence is necessary to strengthen habits of har 
mony and fraternity. In such a case, it seems to 
me it would be safer and wiser to ask an express 
grant of the power. This would render its exercise 
smooth and acceptable to all, and insure to it all the 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 351 

facilities which the States could contribute, to pre 
vent that kind of abuse which all will fear, because 
all know it is so much practised in public bodies, I 
mean the bartering of votes. It would reconcile 
every one, if limited by the proviso, that the federal 
proportion of each State should be expended within 
the State. With this single security against par 
tiality and corrupt bargaining, I suppose there is 
not a State, perhaps not a man in the Union, who 
would not consent to add this to the powers of the 
general government. But age has weaned me from 
questions of this kind. My delight is now in the 
passive occupation of reading; and it is with great 
reluctance I permit my mind ever to encounter sub 
jects of difficult investigation. You have many 
years yet to come of vigorous activity, and I con 
fidently trust they will be employed in cherishing 
every measure which may foster our brotherly union, 
and perpetuate a constitution of government de 
stined to be the primitive and precious model of what 
is to change the condition of man over the globe. 
With this confidence, equally strong in your powers 
and purposes, I pray you to accept the assurance of 
my cordial esteem and respect. 


MONTICELLO, April IQ, 1824. 

DEAR SIR, I received in due time your favor of 
the 1 2th, requesting my opinion on the proposition 
to call a convention for amending the constitution 

35 2 The Writings of [1824 

of the State. That this should not be perfect can 
not be a subject of wonder, when it is considered 
that ours was not only the first of the American 
States, but the first nation in the world, at least 
within the records of history, which peaceably by 
its wise men, formed on free deliberation, a constitu 
tion of government for itself, and deposited it in 
writing, among their archives, always ready and 
open to the appeal of every citizen. The other 
States, who successively formed constitutions for 
themselves also, had the benefit of our outline, and 
have made on it, doubtless, successive improve 
ments. One in the very outset, and which has been 
adopted in every subsequent constitution, was to 
lay its foundation in the authority of the nation. 
To our convention no special authority had been 
delegated by the people to form a permanent con 
stitution, over which their successors in legislation 
should have no powers of alteration. They had 
been elected for the ordinary purposes of legislation 
only, and at a time when the establishment of a new 
government had not been proposed or contem 
plated. Although, therefore, they gave to this act 
the title of a constitution, yet it could be no more 
than an act of legislation, subject, as their other acts 
were, to alteration by their successors. It has been 
said, indeed, that the acquiescence of the people 
supplied the want of original power. But it is a 
dangerous lesson to say to them "whenever your 
functionaries exercise unlawful authority over you, 
if you do not go into actual resistance, it will be 
deemed acquiescence and confirmation." How long 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 353 

had we acquiesced under usurpations of the British 
parliament? Had that confirmed them in right, 
and made our revolution a wrong? Besides, no 
authority has yet decided whether this resistance 
must be instantaneous; when the right to resist 
ceases, or whether it has yet ceased. Of the twenty- 
four States now organized, twenty-three have dis 
approved our doctrine and example, and have 
deemed the authority of their people a necessary 
foundation for a constitution. 

Another defect which has been corrected by most 
of the States is, that the basis of our constitution is 
in opposition to the principle of equal political 
rights, refusing to all but freeholders any participa 
tion in the natural right of self-government. It is 
believed, for example, that a very great majority 
of the militia, on whom the burthen of military duty 
was imposed in the late war, were men unrepre 
sented in the legislation which imposed this burthen 
on them. However nature may by mental or 
physical disqualifications have marked infants and 
the weaker sex for the protection, rather than the 
direction of government, yet among the men who 
either pay or fight for their country, no line of right 
can be drawn. The exclusion of a majority of our ^ 
freemen from the right of representation is merely 
arbitrary, and an usurpation of the minority over 
the majority; for it is believed that the non-free 
holders compose the majority of our free and adult 
male citizens. 

And even among our citizens who participate in 
the representative privilege, the equality of political 

VOL. XII. 23. 

354 The Writings of [1824 

rights is entirely prostrated by our constitution. 
Upon which principle of right or reason can any one 
justify the giving to every citizen of Warwick as 
much weight in the government as to twenty-two 
equal citizens in Loudon, and similar inequalities 
among the other counties? If these fundamental 
principles are of no importance in actual govern 
ment, then no principles are important, and it is as 
well to rely on the dispositions of an administration, 
good or evil, as on the provisions of a constitutionj 

I shall not enter into the details of smaller de 
fects, although others there doubtless are, the re 
formation of some of which might very much lessen 
the expenses of government, improve its organiza 
tion, and add to the wisdom and purity of its ad 
ministration in all its parts ; but these things I leave 
to others, not permitting myself to take sides in the 
political questions of the day. I willingly acquiesce 
in the institutions of my country, perfect or imper 
fect; and think it a duty to leave their modifica 
tions to those who are to live under them, and are 
to participate of the good or evil they may produce. 
The present generation has the same right of self- 
government which the past one has exercised for 
itself. And those in the full vigor of body and mind 
are more able to judge for themselves than those 
who are sinking under the wane of both. If the 
sense of our citizens on the question of a convention 
can be fairly and fully taken, its result will, I am 
sure, be wise and salutary; and far from arrogating 
the office of advice, no one will more passively ac 
quiesce in it than myself. Retiring, therefore, to 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 355 

the tranquillity called for by increasing years and 
debility, I wish not to be understood as intermed 
dling in this question; and to my prayers for the 
general good, I have only to add assurances to your 
self of my great esteem. 


MONTO. June 5. 24. 

DEAR SIR, Taking for granted this will reach you 
while Mr. Gilmer is still in England, I take the 
liberty of putting a letter for him under the pro 
tection of your cover to ensure it s safe receipt by 
him. Should it however by any accident loiter on 
the way until he should be on his return, I will re 
quest of you to open the letter to him and to take 
out and have delivered to majr. Cartwright one it 
covers addressed to him, and which otherwise I 
would have wished Mr. Gilmer to deliver personally. 

Congress has just risen, having done nothing re 
markable except the passing a tariff bill by squeez 
ing majorities, very revolting to a great portion of 
the people of the states, among whom it is believed 
it would not have received a vote but of the manufac 
turers themselves. It is considered as a levy on the 
labor & efforts of the other classes of industry to 
support that of manufactures, and I wish it may not 
draw on our surplus & produce retaliatory imposi 
tions from other nations. Among the candidates 
for the presidency you will have seen by the news 
papers that Genl. Jackson s prospect was not with 
out promise. A threatening cloud has very suddenly 

356 The Writings of [1824 

darkened his horizon. A letter has become pub 
lic, written by him when Colo. Monroe first came 
into office, advising him to make up his administrn 
without regard to party. [No suspicion has been 
entertained of any indecision in his political prin 
ciples, and this evidence of it threatens a revoln of 
opinion respecting him.] T The solid republicanism 
of Pensylve, his principal support, is thrown into 
great fermentation by this apparent indifference to 
political principles. The thing is as yet too new to 
see in w T hat it will result. A baseless and malicious 
attack on Mr. Crawford has produced from him so 
clear, so incontrovertible, and so temperate a jus- 
tifcn of himself as to have added much to the 
strength of his interest. The question will ultim 
ately be, as I suggested in a former letter to you, 
between Crawford and Adams, with this in favor of 
Crawford that altho many states have a different 
ist favorite, he is the second with nearly all, and 
that if it goes into the legislature he will surely be 
elected. I am very much delighted to perceive a 
friendly disposn growing up between the people & 
govmt of the country where you are and ours. No 
two nations on earth have so many interests pleading 
for a cordial frdshp, and we have never had an 
executive which was not anxious to have cultivated 
it, if it could have been done with any regard to 
self-respect. Accept assurances of my great esteem 
and respectful considn. 

i Part in brackets struck out. 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 357 


MONTICELLO, June 29, 1824. 

DEAR SIR, I have to thank you for Mr. Picker 
ing s elaborate philippic against Mr. Adams, Gerry, 
Smith, and myself; and I have delayed the ac 
knowledgment until I could read it and make some 
observations on it. 

I could not have believed, that for so many years, 
and to such a period of advanced age, he could have 
nourished passions so vehement and viperous. It 
appears, that for thirty years past, he has been in 
dustriously collecting materials for vituperating the 
characters he had marked for his hatred; some of 
whom, certainly, if enmities towards him had ever 
existed, had forgotten them all, or buried them in 
the grave with themselves. As to myself, there 
never had been anything personal between us, 
nothing but the general opposition of party senti 
ment; and our personal intercourse had been that 
of urbanity, as himself says. But it seems he has 
been all this time brooding over an enmity which I 
had never felt, and that with respect to myself, as 
well as others, he has been writing far and near, 
and in every direction, to get hold of original letters, 
where he could, copies, where he could not, certifi 
cates and journals, catching at every gossiping story 
he could hear of in any quarter, supplying by sus 
picions what he could find nowhere else, and then 
arguing on this motley farrago, as if established on 
gospel evidence. And while expressing his wonder, 
that "at the age of eighty-eight, the strong passions 
of Mr. Adams should not have cooled"; that on the 

35$ The Writings of [1824 

contrary, "they had acquired the mastery of his 
soul," (p. 100 ;) that "where these were enlisted, no 
reliance could be placed on his statements," (p. 104;) 
the facility and little truth with which he could 
represent facts and occurrences, concerning per 
sons who were the objects of his hatred, (p. 3;) 
that "he is capable of making the grossest mis 
representations, and, from detached facts, and often 
from bare suspicions, of drawing unwarrantable in 
ferences, if suited to his purpose at the instant," 
(p. 174;) while making such charges, I say, on Mr. 
Adams, instead of his "ecce homo," (p. 100;) how 
justly might we say to him, "mutato nomine, de te 
fabula narratur." For the assiduity and industry 
he has employed in his benevolent researches after 
matter of crimination against us, I refer to his 
pages 13, 14, 34, 3 6 > 46, 7 1 , 79> 9, bi s. 92, 93, bis. 
101, ter. 104, 116, 118, 141, 143, 146, 150, 151, 153, 
168, 171, 172. That Mr. Adams strictures on him, 
written and printed, should have excited some 
notice on his part, was not perhaps to be wondered 
at. But the sufficiency of his motive for the large 
attack on me may be more questionable. He says, 
(p. 4) "of Mr. Jefferson I should have said no 
thing, but for his letter to Mr. Adams, of October 
the i2th, 1823." Now the object of that letter 
was to soothe the feelings of a friend, wounded by 
a publication which I thought an outrage on pri 
vate confidence." Not a word or allusion in it re 
specting Mr. Pickering, nor was it suspected that 
it would draw forth his pen in justification of this 
infidelity, which he has, however, undertaken in the 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 359 

course of his pamphlet, but more particularly in its 

He arraigns me on two grounds, my actions and 
my motives. The very actions, however, which he 
arraigns, have been such as the great majority of 
my fellow citizens have approved. The approbation 
of Mr. Pickering, and of those who thought with 
him, I had no right to expect. My motives he 
chooses to ascribe to hypocrisy, to ambition, and a 
passion for popularity. Of these the world must 
judge between us. It is no office of his or mine. 
To that tribunal I have ever submitted my actions 
and motives, without ransacking the Union for 
certificates, letters, journals, and gossiping tales, to 
justify myself and weary them. Nor shall I do this 
on the present occasion, but leave still to them these 
antiquated party diatribes, now newly revamped 
and paraded, as if they had not been already a 
thousand times repeated, refuted, and adjudged 
against him, by the nation itself. If no action is to 
be deemed virtuous for which malice can imagine a 
sinister motive, then there never was a virtuous 
action; no, not even in the life of our Saviour him 
self. But he has taught us to judge the tree by its 
fruit, and to leave motives to him who can alone 
see into them. 

But whilst I leave to its fate the libel of Mr. 
Pickering, with the thousands of others like it, to 
which I have given no other answer than a steady 
course of similar action, there are two facts or fancies 
of his which I must set to rights. The one respects 
Mr. Adams, the other myself. He observes that 

360 The Writings of [1824 

my letter of October the i2th, 1823, acknowledges 
the receipt of one from Mr. Adams, of September 
the i8th, which, having been written a few days 
after Cunningham s publication, he says was no 
doubt written to apologize to me for the pointed 
reproaches he had uttered against me in his con 
fidential letters to Cunningham. And thus having 
no doubt" of his conjecture, he considers it as 
proven, goes on to suppose the contents of the 
letter, (19, 22,) makes it place Mr. Adams at my 
feet suing for pardon, and continues to rant upon 
it, as an undoubted fact. Now, I do most solemnly 
declare, that so far from being a letter of apology, 
as Mr. Pickering so undoubtedly assumes, there was 
not a word or allusion in it respecting Cunningham s 

The other allegation respecting myself, is equally 
false. In page 34, he quotes Doctor Stuart as hav 
ing, twenty years ago, informed him that General 
Washington, "when he became a private citizen," 
called me to account for expressions in a letter to 
Mazzei, requiring, in a tone of unusual severity, an 
explanation of that letter. He adds of himself, "in 
what manner the latter humbled himself and ap 
peased the just resentment of Washington, will 
never be made known, as some time after his death 
the correspondence was not to be found, and a 
diary for an important period of his presidency was 
also missing." The diary being of transactions dur 
ing his presidency, the letter to Mazzei not known 
here until some time after he became a private citizen, 
and the pretended correspondence of course after 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 361 

that, I know not why this lost diary and supposed 
correspondence are brought together here, unless 
for insinuations worthy of the letter itself. The 
correspondence could not be found, indeed, because 
it had never existed. I do affirm that there never 
passed a word, written or verbal, directly or in 
directly, between General Washington and myself 
on the subject of that letter. He would never have 
degraded himself so far as to take to himself the 
imputation in that letter on the "Samsons in com 
bat." The whole story is a fabrication, and I defy 
the framers of it, and all mankind, to produce a 
scrip of a pen between General Washington and 
myself on the subject, or any other evidence more 
worthy of credit than the suspicions, suppositions 
and presumptions of the two persons here quoting 
and quoted for it. With Doctor Stuart I had not 
much acquaintance. I supposed him to be an 
honest man, knew him to be a very weak one, and, 
like Mr. Pickering, very prone to antipathies, boiling 
with party passions, and under the dominion of 
these readily welcoming fancies for facts. But 
come the story from whomsoever it might, it is an 
unqualified falsehood. 

This letter to Mazzei has been a precious theme of 
crimination for federal malice. It was a long letter 
of business, in which was inserted a single para 
graph only of political information as to the state of 
our country. In this information there was not one 
word which would not then have been, or would not 
now be approved by every republican in the United 
States, looking back to those times, as you will see 

362 The Writings of [1824 

by a faithful copy now enclosed of the whole of what 
that letter said on the subject of the United States, 
or of its government. This paragraph, extracted 
and translated, got into a Paris paper at a time when 
the persons in power there were laboring under very 
general disfavor, and their friends were eager to 
catch even at straws to buoy them up. To them, 
therefore, I have always imputed the interpolation 
of an entire paragraph additional to mine, which 
makes me charge my own country with ingratitude 
and injustice to France. There was not a word in 
my letter respecting France, or any of the proceed 
ings or relations between this country and that. 
Yet this interpolated paragraph has been the bur 
then of federal calumny, has been constantly quoted 
by them, made the subject of unceasing and virulent 
abuse, and is still quoted, as you see, by Mr. Picker 
ing, page 33, as if it were genuine, and really written 
by me. And even Judge Marshall makes history 
descend from its dignity, and the ermine from its 
sanctity, to exaggerate, to record, and to sanction 
this forgery. In the very last note of his book, he 
says, "a letter from Mr. Jefferson to Mr. Mazzei, an 
Italian, was published in Florence, and re-published 
in the Moniteur, with very severe strictures on the 
conduct of the United States." And instead of the 
letter itself, he copies what he says are the remarks 
of the editor, which are an exaggerated commentary 
on the fabricated paragraph itself, and silently leaves 
to his reader to make the ready inference that these 
were the sentiments of the letter. Proof is the duty 
of the affirmative side. A negative cannot be 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 363 

positively proved. But, in defect of impossible proof 
of what was not in the original letter, I have its press- 
copy still in my possession. It has been shown to 
several, and is open to any one who wishes to see it. 
I have presumed only, that the interpolation was 
done in Paris. But I never saw the letter in either 
its Italian or French dress, and it may have been 
done here, with the commentary handed down to 
posterity by the Judge. The genuine paragraph, 
re-translated through Italian and French into Eng 
lish, as it appeared here in a federal paper, besides 
the mutilated hue which these translations and 
retranslations of it produced generally, gave a mis 
translation of a single word, which entirely per 
verted its meaning, and made it a pliant and fertile 
text of misrepresentation of my political principles. 
The original, speaking of an Anglican, monarchical 
and aristocratical party, which had sprung up since 
he had left us, states their object to be "to draw over 
us the substance, as they had already done the forms 
of the British Government." Now the "forms" 
here meant, were the levees, birthdays, the pompous 
cavalcade to the state house on the meeting of Con 
gress, the formal speech from the throne, the pro 
cession of Congress in a body to re-echo the speech 
in an answer, &c., &c. But the translator here, by 
substituting form in the singular number, for forms 
in the plural, made it mean the frame or organization 
of our government, or its form of legislative, ex 
ecutive and judiciary authorities, coordinate and 
independent ; to which form it was to be inferred that 
I was an enemy. In this sense they always quoted 

364 The Writings of [1824 

it, and in this sense Mr. Pickering still quotes it, 
pages 34, 35, 38, and countenances the inference. 
Now General Washington perfectly understood what 
I meant by these forms, as they were frequent sub 
jects of conversation between us. When, on my 
return from Europe, I joined the government in 
March, 1790, at New York, I was much astonished, 
indeed, at the mimicry I found established of royal 
forms and ceremonies, and more alarmed at the 
unexpected phenomenon, by the monarchical senti 
ments I heard expressed and openly maintained in 
every company, and among others by the high mem 
bers of the government, executive and judiciary, 
(General Washington alone excepted,) and by a great 
part of the legislature, save only some members 
who had been of the old Congress, and a very few 
of recent introduction. I took occasion, at various 
times, of expressing to General Washington my dis 
appointment at these symptoms of a change of 
principle, and that I thought them encouraged by 
the forms and ceremonies which I found prevailing, 
not at all in character with the simplicity of repub 
lican government, and looking as if wishfully to 
those of European courts. His general explanations 
to me were, that when he arrived at New York to 
enter on the executive administration of the new 
government, he observed to those who were to assist 
him, that placed as he was in an office entirely new 
to him, unacquainted with the forms and cere 
monies of other governments, still less apprized of 
those which might be properly established here, and 
himself perfectly indifferent to all forms, he wished 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 365 

them to consider and prescribe what they should be ; 
and the task was assigned particularly to General 
Knox, a man of parade, and to Colonel Humphreys, 
who had resided some time at a foreign court. 
They, he said, were the authors of the present regu 
lations, and that others were proposed so highly 
strained that he absolutely rejected them. Atten 
tive to the difference of opinion prevailing on this 
subject, when the term of his second election ar 
rived, he called the Heads of departments together, 
observed to them the situation in which he had 
been at the commencement of the government, the 
advice he had taken and the course he had observed 
in compliance with it; that a proper occasion had 
now arrived of revising that course, of correcting it 
in any particulars not approved in experience; and 
he desired us to consult together, agree on any 
changes we should think for the better, and that he 
should willingly conform to what we should advise. 
We met at my office. Hamilton and myself agreed 
at once that there was too much ceremony for the 
character of our government, and particularly, that 
the parade of the installation at New York ought 
not to be copied on the present occasion, that the 
President should desire the Chief Justice to attend 
him at his chambers, that he should administer the 
oath of office to him in the presence of the higher 
officers of the government, and that the certificate 
of the fact should be delivered to the Secretary of 
State to be recorded. Randolph and Knox differed 
from us, the latter vehemently; they thought it not 
advisable to change any of the established forms, 

366 The Writings of [1824 

and we authorized Randolph to report our opinions 
to the President. As these opinions were divided, 
and no positive advice given as to any change, no 
change was made. Thus the forms which I had 
censured in my letter to Mazzei were perfectly under 
stood by General Washington, and were those which 
he himself but barely tolerated. He had furnished 
me a proper occasion for proposing their reformation, 
and my opinion not prevailing, he knew I could not 
have meant any part of the censure for him. 

Mr. Pickering quotes, too, (page 34) the expression 
in the letter, of "the men who were Samsons in the 
field and Solomons in the council, but who had had 
their heads shorn by the harlot England;" or, as 
expressed in their re-translation, "the men who 
were Solomons in council, and Samsons in combat, 
but whose hair had been cut off by the whore 
England." Now this expression also was perfectly 
understood by General Washington. He knew that 
I meant it for the Cincinnati generally, and that 
from what had passed between us at the commence 
ment of that institution, I could not mean to in 
clude him. When the first meeting was called for 
its establishment, I was a member of the Congress 
then sitting at Annapolis. General Washington 
wrote to me, asking my opinion on that proposition, 
and the course, if any, which I thought Congress 
would observe respecting it. I wrote him frankly 
my own disapprobation of it ; that I found the mem 
bers of Congress generally in the same sentiment; 
that I thought they would take no express notice of 
it, but that in all appointments of trust, honor, or 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 3 6 7 

profit, they would silently pass by all candidates of 
that order, and give an uniform preference to others. 
On his way to the first meeting in Philadelphia, 
which I think was in the spring of 1784, he called on 
me at Annapolis. It was a little after candle-light, 
and he sat with me till after midnight, conversing, 
almost exclusively, on that subject. While he was 
feelingly indulgent to the motives which might induce 
the officers to promote it, he concurred with me en 
tirely in condemning it; and when I expressed an 
idea that if the hereditary quality were suppressed, 
the institution might perhaps be indulged during 
the lives of the officers now living, and who had 
actually served; "no," he said, "not a fibre of it 
ought to be left, to be an eye-sore to the public, a 
ground of dissatisfaction, and a line of separation be 
tween them and their country; " and he left me with 
a determination to use all his influence for its entire 
suppression. On his return from the meeting he 
called on me again, and related to me the course the 
thing had taken. He said that from the beginning, 
he had used every endeavor to prevail on the officers 
to renounce the project altogether, urging the many 
considerations which would render it odious to their 
fellow citizens, and disreputable and injurious to 
themselves ; that he had at length prevailed on most 
of the old officers to reject it, although with great 
and warm opposition from others, and especially 
the younger ones, among whom he named Colonel 
W. S. Smith as particularly intemperate. But that 
in this state of things, when he thought the question 
safe, and the meeting drawing to a close, Major 

368 The Writings of [1824 

L Enfant arrived from France, with a bundle of 
eagles, for which he had been sent there, with letters 
from the French officers who had served in America, 
praying for admission into the order, and a solemn 
act of their king permitting them to wear its ensign. 
This, he said, changed the face of matters at once, 
produced an entire revolution of sentiment, and 
turned the torrent so strongly in an opposite direc 
tion that it could be no longer withstood; all he 
could then obtain was a suppression of the heredi 
tary quality. He added, that it was the French 
applications, and respect for the approbation of the 
king, which saved the establishment in its modified 
and temporary form. Disapproving thus of the 
institution as much as I did, and conscious that I 
knew him to do so, he could never suppose that I 
meant to include him among the Samsons in the 
field, whose object was to draw over us the form, as 
they made the letter say, of the British government, 
and especially its aristocratic member, an hereditary 
house of lords. Add to this, that the letter saying 
"that two out of the three branches of legislature 
were against us," was an obvious exception of him; 
it being well known that the majorities in the two 
branches of Senate and Representatives, were the 
very instruments which carried, in opposition to the 
old and real republicans, the measures which were 
the subjects of condemnation in this letter. General 
Washington then, understanding perfectly what and 
whom I meant to designate, in both phrases, and 
that they could not have any application or view to 
himself, could find in neither any cause of offence to 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 369 

himself; and therefore neither needed, nor ever 
asked any explanation of them from me. Had it 
even been otherwise, they must know very little of 
General Washington, who should believe to be with 
in the laws of his character what Doctor Stuart is 
said to have imputed to him. Be this, however, as 
it may, the story is infamously false in every article 
of it. My last parting with General Washington 
was at the inauguration of Mr. Adams, in March, 
1797, and was warmly affectionate; and I never 
had any reason to believe any change on his part, 
as there certainly was none on mine. But one 
session of Congress intervened between that and his 
death, the year following, in my passage to and 
from which, as it happened to be not convenient to 
call on him, I never had another opportunity; and 
as to the cessation of correspondence observed dur 
ing that short interval, no particular circumstance 
occurred for epistolary communication, and both of 
us were too much oppressed with letter-writing, to 
trouble, either the other, with a letter about nothing. 
The truth is, that the federalists, pretending to be 
the exclusive friends of General Washington, have 
ever done what they could to sink his character, by 
hanging theirs on it, and by representing as the 
enemy of republicans him, who of all men, is best en 
titled to the appellation of the father of that re 
public which they were endeavoring to subvert, and 
the republicans to maintain. They cannot deny, 
because the elections proclaimed the truth, that 
the great body of the nation approved the repub 
lican measures. General Washington was himself 

VOL. XII. 24. 

The Writings of [1824 

sincerely a friend to the republican principles of our 
constitution. His faith, perhaps, in its duration, 
might not have been as confident as mine; but he 
repeatedly declared to me, that he was determined it 
should have a fair chance for success, and that he 
would lose the last drop of his blood in its support, 
against any attempt which might be made to change 
it from its republican form. He made these declara 
tions the oftener, because he knew my suspicions 
that Hamilton had other views, and he wished to 
quiet my jealousies on this subject. For Hamilton 
frankly avowed, that he considered the British con 
stitution, with all the corruptions of its administra 
tion, as the most perfect model of government which 
had ever been devised by the wit of man ; professing 
however, at the same time, that the spirit of this 
country was so fundamentally republican, that it 
would be visionary to think of introducing mon 
archy here, and that, therefore, it was the duty of 
its administrators to conduct it on the principles 
their constituents had elected. 

General Washington, after the retirement of his 
first cabinet, and the composition of his second, 
entirely federal, and at the head of which was Mr. 
Pickering himself, had no opportunity of hearing 
both sides of any question. His measures, conse 
quently, took more the hue of the party in whose 
hands he was. These measures were certainly not 
approved by the republicans; yet were they not 
imputed to him, but to the counsellors around him; 
and his prudence so far restrained their impassioned 
course and bias, that no act of strong mark, during 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 371 

the remainder of his administration, excited much 
dissatisfaction. He lived too short a time after and 
too much withdrawn from information, to correct 
the views into which he had been deluded; and the 
continued assiduities of the party drew him into the 
vortex of their intemperate career; separated him 
still farther from his real friends and excited him to 
actions and expressions of dissatisfaction, which 
grieved them, but could not loosen their affections 
from him. They would not suffer the temporary 
aberration to weigh against the immeasurable merits 
of his life; and although they tumbled his seducers 
from their places, they preserved his memory em 
balmed in their hearts, with un diminished love and 
devotion ; and there it forever will remain embalmed 
in entire oblivion of every temporary thing which 
might cloud the glories of his splendid life. It is 
vain, then, for Mr. Pickering and his friends to en 
deavor to falsify his character, by representing him 
as an enemy to republicans and republican principles, 
and as exclusively the friend of those who were so; 
and had he lived longer, he would have returned to 
his ancient and unbiased opinions, would have re 
placed his confidence in those whom the people 
approved and supported, and would have seen that 
they were only restoring and acting on the principles 
of his own first administration. 

I find, my dear Sir, that I have written you a very 
long letter, or rather a history. The civility of hav 
ing sent me a copy of Mr. Pickering s diatribe, would 
scarcely justify its address to you. I do not publish 
these things, because my rule of life has been never 


The Writings of 

.^.jv. j; -3 ^ 

-. ; ~ : : 


i - 

R- _j _ .: _ 

r .rli. -^ r 

374 The Writings of [1824 

Spanish America that our republic should be blotted 
out of the map, and to the rest of the world it would 
be an act of treason. I see both reason and justifcn 
in hanging our answers to them on the coopern of 
England & directing all their importunities to that 
govmt. We feel strongly for them, but our first 
care must be ourselves. I am sorry for the doubt 
fulness of your visit to our nbhood, and still more 
so for the ground of it. With my prayers that the 
last may be favorably relieved, accept the assurance 
of my affecte frdshp & great respect. 


MONTO. Aug. io. 24. 

SIR, I have duly received your favor of the i4th 
and with it the prospectus of a newspaper which it 
covered. If the style and spirit of that should be 
maintained in the paper itself it will be truly worthy 
of the public patronage. As to myself it is many 
years since I have ceased to read but a single paper. 
I am no longer therefore a general subscriber for any. 
other. Yet to encourage the hopeful in the outset 
I have sometimes subscribed for the ist year on the 
condition of being discontinued at the end of it, 
without further warning. I do the same now with 
pleasure for yours, and unwilling to have outstand 
ing accounts which I am liable to forget, I now in 
close the price of the tri -weekly paper. I am no 
believer in the amalgamation of parties, nor do I 
consider it as either desirable or useful for the public ; 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 375 

but only that, like religious differences, a difference 
in politics should never be permitted to enter into 
social intercourse, or to disturb it s friendships, its 
charities or justice. In that form they are censors 
of the conduct of each other, and useful watchmen 
for the public. Men by their constitutions are 
naturally divided into two parties, i. Those who 
fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all 
powers from them into the hands of the higher 
classes. 2ndly those who identify themselves with 
the people, have confidence in them, cherish and 
consider them as the most honest & safe, altho not 
the most wise depository of the public interests. 
In every country these two parties exist, and in 
every one where they are free to think, speak, and 
write, they will declare themselves. Call them 
therefore liberals and serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, 
whigs and tories, republicans and federalists, aristo 
crats and democrats or by whatever name you 
please, they are the same parties still and pursue the 
same object. The last appellation of aristocrats and 
democrats is the true one expressing the essence of 
all. A paper which shall be governed by the spirit 
of Mr. Madison s celebrated report, of which you 
express in your prospectus so just and high an ap 
probation, cannot be false to the rights of all classes. 
The grandfathers of the present generation of your 
family I knew well. They were friends and fellow- 
laborers with me in the same cause and principle. 
Their descendants cannot follow better guides. 
Accept the assurance of my best wishes & respectful 

37 6 The Writings of [1824 


MONTICELLO Sep. 3. 24. 

The mail my dear Friend, succeeding that which 
brought us the welcome news of your arrival on our 
shores, brought that of your being to proceed im 
mediately to the North. I delayed therefore till 
you should turn Southwdly to meet you with my 
sincere congratulns on your safe passage, and restora 
tion to those who love you more than any people 
on earth. Indeed I fear they will kill you with their 
kindness, so fatiguing and exhausting must be the 
ceremonies they force upon you. Be on your 
guard, against this, my dear Sir, and do not lose in 
the enthusiastic embraces of affection a life they are 
meant to cherish. I see you are to visit our York- 
town on the i gth of Oct. My spirit will be there, 
my body cannot. I am too much enfeebled by age 
for such a journey. I cannot walk further than my 
garden, with infirmities too which can only be 
nursed at home. I imagine you will be forced to 
visit Chas. T. and Savanna, for where is it they will 
not wish and ask your company if they can get it. 
Our little village of Charlottesville insists also on 
receiving you. They would have claimed you as 
their guest, were it possible I could have seen you the 
guest of any other than myself in the vicinage of 
Monto. I have reduced them therefore to the honor 
of your accepting from them a dinner, and that, 
thro me, they beseech you to come and accept. I 
suppose in fact that either going to or returning 
from the South, the line by Monto. & Montpellier 
will be little out of your way. Come then, my dear 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 377 

friend, suit the time to yourself, make your head 
quarters here from whence the ride to Charlottesville 
& it s appendage our university will not be of an 
hour. Let me once more have the happiness of 
talking over with you your first labors here, those 
I witnessed in your own country, it s past & present 
afflictions and future hopes. God bless and pre 
serve you, and give me once more to see and em 
brace you. 


MONTO. Sep. 5. 24. 

SIR, I have duly received your favor of the 25th 
ult. requesting permission to publish my letters of 
July 12. and Sep. 5. 1816. But to this I cannot 
consent. They were committed to your honor and 
confidence under express injunxtions against their 
publication, and I am happy to learn that that 
confidence has not been misplaced. The reasons 
too, then opposed to it, have gained greater strength 
by increase of age and of aversion to be committed 
to political altercation and obloquy. Nor do I be 
lieve their publicn would have any weight. Our 
fellow citizens think too independantly for them 
selves to yield their opinions to any one. Another 
strong reason against it at present is the alarm which 
has been excited, and with great effect, lest too much 
innovation should be attempted. These letters 
would do harm by increasing that alarm. At a 
particular and pressing request I did venture in a 
letter to Mr. Pleasants some strictures on certain 

378 The Writings of [1824 

defects in our constitution, with permission to pub 
lish them. So far then my opinions are known. 
When the legislature shall be assembled, and the 
question approaching of calling a convention, I 
should have no objection to a discreet communication 
of these letters to thinking and friendly members, 
who would not hang me up as a scare-crow and 
enemy to a constitution on which many believe the 
good and happiness of their country depend. I 
believe on the contrary that they depend on amend 
ing that constn from time to time and keeping it 
always in harmony with the advance of habits and 
principles. But I respect their right of free opinion 
too much to urge an uneasy pressure on them. 
Time and advancing science will ripen us all in it s 
course, and reconcile all to wholesome and necessary 
changes. I salute you with respectful consideration. 


MONTICELLO, October 9, 1824. 

I have duly received, my dear friend and General, 
your letter of the ist from Philadelphia, giving us the 
welcome assurance that you will visit the neighbor 
hood which, during the march of our enemy near it, 
was covered by your shield from his robberies and 
ravages. In passing the line of your former march 
you will experience pleasing recollections of the good 
you have done. My neighbors, too, of our academi 
cal village, who well remember their obligations to 
you, have expressed to you, in a letter from a com 
mittee appointed for that purpose, their hope that 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 379 

you will accept manifestations of their feelings, sim 
ple indeed, but as cordial as any you will have 
received. It will be an additional honor to the Uni 
versity of the State that you will have been its first 
guest. Gratify them, then, by this assurance to their 
committee, if it has not been done. But what recol 
lections, dear friend, will this call up to you and me! 
What a history have we to run over from the evening 
that yourself, Meusnier, Bernau, and other patriots 
settled, in my house in Paris, the outlines of the con 
stitution you wished! And to trace it through all 
the disastrous chapters of Robespierre, Barras, Bona 
parte, and the Bourbons! These things, however, 
are for our meeting. You mention the return of 
Miss Wright to America, accompanied by her sister; 
but do not say what her stay is to be, nor what her 
course. Should it lead her to a visit of our Univer 
sity, which, in its architecture only, is as yet an ob 
ject, herself and her companion will nowhere find a 
welcome more hearty than with Mrs. Randolph, and 
all the inhabitants of Monticello. This Athenaeum 
of our country, in embryo, is as yet but promise; 
and not in a state to recall the recollections of 
Athens. But everything has its beginning, its 
growth, and end; and who knows with what future 
delicious morsels of philosophy, and by what future 
Miss Wright raked from its ruins, the world may, 
some day, be gratified and instructed? Your son 
George we shall be very happy indeed to see, and to 
renew in him the recollections of your very dear 
family ; and the revolutionary merit of M. le Vasseur 
has that passport to the esteem of every American, 

380 The Writings of [1824 

and, to me, the additional one of having been your 
friend and co-operator, and he will, I hope, join you 
in making head-quarters with us at Monticello. 
But all these things A revoir; in the meantime we 
are impatient that your ceremonies at York should 
be over, and give you to the embraces of friendship. 
P. S. Will you come by Mr. Madison s, or let him 
or me know on what day he may meet you here, and 
join us in our greetings? 


MONTICELLO, October 13, 1824. 

DEAR SIR, I must again beg the protection of 
your cover for a letter to Mr. Gilmer; although a 
little doubtful whether he may not have left you. 

You will have seen by our papers the delirium into 
which our citizens are thrown by a visit from 
General La Fayette. He is making a triumphant 
progress through the States, from town to town, 
with acclamations of welcome, such as no crowned 
head ever received. It will have a good effect in 
favor of the General with the people in Europe, but 
probably a different one with their sovereigns. Its 
effect here, too, will be salutary as to ourselves, by 
rallying us together and strengthening the habit of 
considering our country as one and indivisible, and 
I hope we shall close it with something more solid 
for him than dinners and balls. The eclat of this 
visit has almost merged the Presidential question, on 
which nothing scarcely is said in our papers. That 
question will lie ultimately between Crawford and 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 381 

Adams; but, at the same time, the vote of the 
people will be so distracted by subordinate candi 
dates, that possibly they may make no election, and 
let it go to the House of Representatives. There, 
it is thought, Crawford s chance is best. We have 
nothing else interesting before the public. Of the 
two questions of the tariff and public improvements, 
the former, perhaps, is not yet at rest, and the latter 
will excite boisterous discussions. It happens that 
both these measures fall in with the western inter 
ests, and it is their secession from the agricultural 
States which gives such strength to the manufactur 
ing and consolidating parties, on these two ques 
tions. The latter is the most dreaded, because 
thought to amount to a determination in the federal 
government to assume all powers non -enumerated 
as well as enumerated in the constitution, and by 
giving a loose to construction, make the text say 
whatever will relieve them from the bridle of the 
States. These are difficulties for your day; I shall 
give them the slip. Accept the assurance of my 
friendly attachment and great respect. 


MONTICELLO, October 24, 24. 

DEAR SIR, I should not have delayed a single 
day the answer to your interesting and acceptable 
letter of the i3th inst. but that it found me suffering 
severely from an imposthume formed under the 
jaw, and closing it so effectually as to render the 

1 From a copy in the possession of A. 0. Coolidge, Esq. , of Cambridge. 

382 The Writings of [1824 

introduction of sustenance into the mouth impos 
sible but in a fluid form, and that, latterly, sucked 
thro a tube. After 2 or 3 weeks of sufferance, and 
a total prostration of strength, I have been relieved 
by a discharge of the matter, and am now on the 
recovery; and I avail myself of the first moment of 
my ability to take up a pen to assure you that 
nothing could be more welcome to me than the visit 
proposed, or it s object. During the stay you were 
so kind as to make with us, my opportunities were 
abundant of seeing and estimating the merit of your 
character; insomuch as to need no further enquiry 
from others. Nor did the family leave me unin 
formed of the attachment which seemed to be form 
ing towards my grandaur. Ellen. I learnt it with 
pleasure; because I believed of yours, and knew of 
her extraordinary moral qualifications, I was satis 
fied no two minds could be formed, better com 
pounded to make each other happy. I hold the 
same sentiment now that I receive the information 
from yourself, and assure you that no union could 
give to me greater satisfaction, if your wishes prove 
mutual, and your friends consenting. What pro 
vision for a competent subsistence for you, might 
exist or be practicable, was a consideration for both 
parties. I knew that the circumstances of her 
father, Governor Randolph, offered little prospect 
from his resources, prostrated as they have been by 
too much facility in engagements for others. Some 
suffering of the same kind myself, and of sensible 
amount, with debts of my own, remove to a distance 
anything I could do, and certainly should do, for you. 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 383 

My property is such that after a discharge of these 
incumbrances, a comfortable provision will remain 
for my unprovided grandchildren. This state of 
things on our part leaves us nothing to propose for 
the present put to submit the course to be pursued 
entirely to your own discretion, and the will of your 
friends, under the general assurance that whenever 
circumstances enable me to do anything, it will be 
directed by justice to the other members of my 
family, a special affection to this particularly valued 
granddaughter, and a cordial attachment to your 
self. Your visit to Monticello and at the time of 
your own convenience will be truly welcome, and 
your stay whatever may suit yourself, under any 
views of friendship or connection. My gratification 
will be measured by the time of it s continuance. 

I ought sooner to have thanked you for the 
valuable work of Milisia, on Architecture: searching, 
as he does, for the resources and prototypes of our 
ideas of beauty in that fine art, he appears to have 
elicited them with more correctness than any other 
I have read : and his work, as a text book, furnishes 
excellent matter for a course of lectures on the sub 
ject, which I shall hope to have introduced into our 
institution. The letters of Mr. Gilmer are encour 
aging as to the time and style of opening it. 

I expect in the course of the ist. or 2d week of the 
approaching month to receive here the visit of my 
antient friend Genl La Fayette. The delirium which 
his visit has excited in the North invelopes him in 
the South also. The humble village of Charlottes- 
ville, or rather the county of Albemarle, of which it 

384 The Writings of [1824 

is the seat of justice, will exhibit it s great affection, 
and unpretending means, in a dinner to be given the 
General in the buildings of the University, to which 
they have given accepted invitations to Mr. Madison 
also and myself as guests, and at which your presence, 
as my guest would give high pleasure to us all, and 
to none, I assure you, more cordially than to your 
sincerely attached friend. 


MONTICELLO Oct 27. 24 

DEAR SIR, Your letter of the 2ist found me in 
a commencement of convalescence after a severe 
illness of some weeks. I have given however to the 
pamphlet which accompanied it the best attention 
which my condition has permitted. The facts it 
has collected are valuable, encouraging to the 
American mind, and so far as they respect ourselves 
could give umbrage to none. But if a contrast with 
other nations were necessary or useful, it would 
have been more flattering had it come from a foreign 
hand. After the severe chastisement given by Mr. 
Walsh in his American Register, to English scribblers, 
which they well deserved and I was delighted to 
see, I hoped there would be an end of this inter- 
crimination, and that both parties would prefer the 
course of courtesy and conciliation, and I think 
their considerate writers have since shewn that 
disposition, and that it would prevail if equally 

1 From a copy courteously furnished by Mr. W. M. Meigs of Phila 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 385 

cultivated by us. Europe is doing us full justice; 
why then detract from her. It is true that the 
pamphlet, in winding up, disavows this intention, 
but in opposition to the fact of repeated sets made 
at England, and too frequent assumptions of super 
iority. It is true we have advantages, and great 
advantages over her in some of our institutions, and 
in some important conditions of our existence. But 
in so many as are assumed will be believed by our 
selves only, and not by all among ourselves. It 
cannot be denied that we are a boasting nation. I 
repeat however that the work is highly consolatory 
to us, and that, with the indulgence of this single 
criticism, it merits all praise in its matter, style and 
composition. Mr. Short and Mr. Harris have truly 
informed you that I suffer to excess by an oppressive 
correspondence. The decays of age have so re 
duced the powers of life with me, that a greater 
affliction can scarcely be imposed on me than that 
of writing a letter. I feel indeed that I must with 
draw from the labors of this duty, even if it loses 
me all my friends. My affections for them undergo 
no diminution, but the laws of the animal economy 
take from me this means of manifesting it. Be 
pleased to accept the assurance of my high respect 
and esteem. 


MONTICELLO Dec. 6. 24. 

Be assured, dear Sir, that the reasons which put it 
out of my power to interfere in behalf of Mr. Taylor 

VOL. XII. 25. 

386 The Writings of [1824 

were such as yourself would pronounce insuperable 
had it been proper for me to have mentioned them. 
We shall be happy to receive your son & Daughter 
here whenever they will favor us with their visit. 
Richmond was not well chosen, as the place to 
shake off a fever & ague in the months of Aug. Sep. 
& Oct. till frost. All it s inhabitants who can 
afford it leave it for the upper country during that 
season. If Miss Julia, instead of accompanying her 
brother to Lynchbg will stay with us till his return 
I should have strong confidence in his finding that 
she will have missed her fit. There never was an 
instance of fever & ague originating here, nor did I 
ever know our friends who have brot it from below, 
pass the 4th fit. Should the inveteracy of her case 
bid defiance to our air for awhile, she had still better 
stay with us till that of Richmd. becomes safe by 
frost and numerous fires, these as well as frost being 
correctives of the atmosphere. We have two stages 
a week going to Richmd. which will give her a 
passage to that place when ever she shall think her 
self well enough to venture to it; and in the mean 
time we shall be happy in having her as one of our 
family and in administering to her every care & 
comfort in our power. No one of your family must 
ever suppose themselves not at home when with me ; 
and indeed I think it would be but fatherly to ac 
company your son yourself and give him the benefit 
of your lessons when visiting our warehouses. To 
me this addition to the visit would be most welcome 
and add to the pleasure with which I assure you of 
my constant frdshp & respect. 

1824] Thomas Jefferson 387 


MONTICELLO Dec. 15. 24. 

DEAR SIR, I have examined my letter of Jan. 13. 
1803. as well as the indistinct copy given by the 
copying press permits. In some parts it is illegible. 
The publication of the whole of the ist paragraph 
would merit very serious considn as respects myself. 
Written when party passions and contests were at 
their greatest height, and expressing freely to you, 
with whom I had no reserve, my opinion of the 
views of the other party, which were all but treason 
able, they would kindle embers long seeming to be 
extinguished. And altho at that time the views 
stated were known to be true, and not doubted at 
this moment, yet promulgated now, they would 
seem very harsh, and renew personal enmities and 
hatreds which time seems to have quieted. Yet I 
am perfectly willing that such parts as would be 
useful to you, without committing me to new per 
secutions should be made publick. With this view 
I have revised the paragraph, suppressed passages 
which would be offensive, modified here and there 
an expression, and now inclose you the form in 
which I should consent to it s publcn. Your letter 
by Mr. Ticknor & Mr. Webster has been duly reed. 
With the former I had had acquaintance and corre 
spondence of long standing; and I am much grati 
fied by the acquaintance made with the latter. 1 He 
is likely to become of great weight in our govmt. 

1 In the Private Correspondence of Daniel Webster (i., 364) is "a 
memorandum" by Webster descriptive of this visit, with a picture of 
Jefferson s daily life and personal appearance. Following this are 

388 The Writings of [1825 


MONTICELLO, January 8, 1825. 

DEAR SIR, I returned the first volume of Hall by 
a mail of a week ago, and by this, shall return the 
second. We have kept them long, but every mem 
ber of the family wished to read his book, in which 

"anecdotes from Mr. Jefferson s conversation," which are here ap 
pended : 

"Patrick Henry was originally a bar-keeper. He was married very 
young, and going into some business, on his own account, was a bank 
rupt before the year was out. When I was about the age of fifteen, 
I left the school here, to go to the college at Williamsburgh. I stopped 
a few days at a friend s in the county of Louisa. There I first saw and 
became acquainted with Patrick Henry. Having spent the Christmas 
holidays there, I proceeded to Williamsburgh. Some question arose 
about my admission, as my preparatory studies had not been pursued 
at the school connected with that institution. This delayed my ad 
mission about a fortnight, at which time Henry appeared in Williams 
burgh, and applied for a license to practise law, having commenced the 
study of it at or subsequently to the time of my meeting him in Louisa. 
There were four examiners, Wythe, Pendleton, Peyton Randolph, and 
John Randolph; Wythe and Pendleton at once rejected his application. 
The two Randolphs, by his importunity, were prevailed upon to sign 
the license ; and having obtained their signatures, he applied again to 
Pendleton, and after much entreaty and many promises of future 
study, succeeded in obtaining his. He then turned out for a practising 
lawyer. The first case which brought him into notice, was a contested 
election, in which he appeared as counsel before a committee of the 
House of Burgesses. His second was the Parsons cause, already well 
known. These and similar efforts soon obtained for him so much 
reputation, that he was elected a member of the legislature. He was 
as well suited to the times as any man ever was, and it is not now easy 
to say what we should have done without Patrick Henry. He was far 
before all in maintaining the spirit of the Revolution. His influence 
was most extensive with the members from the upper counties, and his 
boldness and their votes overawed and controlled the more cool or 
the more timid aristocratic gentlemen of the lower part of the State. 
His eloquence was peculiar, if indeed it should be called eloquence; 
for it was impressive and sublime, beyond what can be imagined. 
Although it was difficult when he had spoken to tell what he had said, 
yet, while he was speaking, it always seemed directly to the point. 

1 825] Thomas Jefferson 389 

case, you know, it had a long gauntlet to run. It 
is impossible to read thoroughly such writings as 
those of Harper and Otis, who take a page to say 
what requires but a sentence, or rather, who give 
you whole pages of what is nothing to the purpose. 
A cursory race over the ground is as much as they 

When he had spoken in opposition to my opinion, had produced a 
great effect, and I myself been highly delighted and moved, I have 
asked myself when he ceased: What the d 1 has he said? I could 
never answer the inquiry. His person was of full size, and his manner 
and voice free and manly. His utterance neither very fast nor very 
slow. His speeches generally short, from a quarter to a half an hour. 
His pronunciation was vulgar and vicious, but it was forgotten while 
he was speaking. 

41 He was a man of very little knowledge of any sort ; he read nothing, 
and had no books. Returning one November from Albemarle court, 
be borrowed of me Hume s Essays, in two volumes, saying he should 
have leisure in the winter for reading. In the spring he returned 
them, and declared he had not been able to go further than twenty or 
thirty pages in the first volume. He wrote almost nothing he could 
not write. The resolutions of 75, which have been ascribed to him, 
have by many been supposed to have been written by Mr. Johnson, 
who acted as his second on that occasion; but if they were written by 
Henry himself, they are not such as to prove any power of composition. 
Neither in politics nor in his profession was he a man of business; he 
was a man for debate only. His biographer says that he read Plutarch 
every year. I doubt whether he ever read a volume of it in his life. 
His temper was excellent, and he generally observed decorum in debate. 
On one or two occasions I have seen him angry, and his anger was 
terrible; those who witnessed it, were not disposed to rouse it again. 
In his opinions he was yielding and practicable and not disposed to 
differ from his friends. In private conversation, he was agreeable and 
facetious, and, while in genteel society, appeared to understand all the 
decencies and proprieties of it; but, in his heart, he preferred low 
society, and sought it as often as possible. He would hunt in the pine 
woods of Fluvannah, with overseers, and people of that description, 
living in a camp for a fortnight at a time without a change of raiment. 
I have often been astonished at his command of proper language; 
how he attained the knowledge of it, I never could find out, as he read 
so little and conversed little with educated men. After all, it must be 
allowed that he was our leader in the measures of the Revolution, in 

390 The Writings of [1825 

can claim. It is easy for them, at this day, to en 
deavor to whitewash their party, when the greater 
part are dead of those who witnessed what passed, 
others old and become indifferent to the subject, and 
others indisposed to take the trouble of answering 
them. As to Otis, his attempt is to prove that the 

Virginia. In that respect more was due to him than any other person. 
If we had not had him we should probably have got on pretty well, 
as you did, by a number of men of nearly equal talents, but he left us all 
far behind. His biographer sent the sheets of his work to me as they 
were printed, and at the end asked my opinion. I told him it would 
be a question hereafter, whether his work should be placed on the shelf 
of history or of panegyric. It is a poor book written in bad taste, and 
gives so imperfect an idea of Patrick Henry, that it seems intended 
to show off the writer more than the subject of the work. 

"Throughout the whole Revolution, Virginia and the four New 
England States acted together; indeed, they made the Revolution. 
Their five votes were always to be counted on; but they had to pick 
up the remaining two for a majority, when and where they could. 

"About the time of the Boston Port Bill, the patriotic feeling in 
Virginia had become languid and worn out, from some cause or other. 
It was thought by some of us to be absolutely necessary to excite the 
people; but we hardly knew the right means. At length it occurred 
to us to make grave faces and propose a fast. Some of us, who were 
the younger members of the assembly, resolved upon the measure. 
We thought Oliver Cromwell would be a good guide in such a case. 
So we looked into Rushworth, and drew up our resolutions after the 
most pious and praiseworthy examples. It would hardly have been in 
character for us to present them ourselves. We applied therefore to 
Mr. Nicholas, a grave and religious man; he proposed them in a set 
and solemn speech; some of us gravely seconded him, and the resolu 
tions were passed unanimously. If any debate had occurred, or if 
they had been postponed for consideration, there was no chance that 
they would have been passed. The next morning Lord Bottetourt, 
the governor, summoned the assembly to his presence, and said to 
them: I have heard of your proceedings of yesterday, and augur ill of 
their effects. His Majesty s interest requires that you be dissolved, 
and you are dissolved. Another election taking place soon after 
wards, such was the spirit of the times, that every member of the 
assembly, without an individual exception, was re-elected. 

"Our fast produced very considerable effect. We all agreed to go 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 391 

sun does not shine at mid-day; that that is not a 
fact which every one saw. He merits no notice. 
It is well known that Harper had little scruple about 
facts where detection was not obvious. By placing 
in false lights whatever admits it, and passing over 
in silence what does not, a plausible aspect may be 

home and see that preachers were provided in our counties, and 
notice given to our people. I came home to my own county, provided 
a preacher, and notified the people, who came together in great 
multitudes, wondering what it meant. 

"Lord Bottetourt was an honorable man. His government had 
authorized him to make certain assurances to the people here, which he 
made accordingly. He wrote to the minister that he had made these 
assurances, and that, unless he should be enabled to fulfil them, he 
must retire from his situation. This letter he sent unsealed to Peyton 
Randolph for his inspection. Lord Bottetourt s great respectability, 
his character for integrity, and his general popularity, would have 
enabled him to embarrass the measures of the patriots exceedingly. 
His death was, therefore, a fortunate event for the cause of the Revolu 
tion. He was the first governor in chief that had ever come over to 
Virginia. Before his time, we had received only deputies, the govern 
or residing in England, with a salary of five thousand pounds, and 
paying his deputy one thousand pounds. 

"When Congress met, Patrick Henry and Richard Henry Lee 
opened the subject with great ability and eloquence. So much so, 
that Paca and Chase, delegates from Maryland, said to each other as 
they returned from the House : We shall not be wanted here ; those 
gentlemen from Virginia will be able to do everything without us. 
But neither Henry nor Lee were men of business, and having made 
strong and eloquent general speeches, they had done all they could. 

" It was thought advisable that two papers should be drawn up, one, 
an address to the people of England, and the other, an address, I think, 
to the king. Committees were raised for these purposes, and Henry 
was at the head of the first, and Lee of the second. 

"When the address to the people of England was reported, Congress 
heard it with utter amazement. It was miserably written and good 
for nothing. At length Governor Livingston, of New Jersey, ventured 
to break silence. After complimenting the author, he said he thought 
some other ideas might be usefully added to his draft of the address. 
Some such paper had been for a considerable time contemplated, and 
he believed a friend of his had tried his hand in the composition of one 

39 2 The Writings of 

presented of anything. He takes great pains to 
prove, for instance, that Hamilton was no mon 
archist, by exaggerating his own intimacy with him, 
and the impossibility, if he was so, that he should 
not, at some time, have betrayed it to him. This 
may pass with uninformed readers, but not with 

He thought if the subject were again committed, some improvement 
in the present draft might be made. It was accordingly recommitted, 
and the address which had been alluded to by Governor Livingston, 
and which was written by John Jay, was reported by the com 
mittee, and adopted as it now appears. 

"It is, in my opinion, one of the very best state papers which the 
Revolution produced. 

"Richard Henry Lee moved the Declaration of Independence, in 
pursuance of the resolutions of the assembly of Virginia, and only 
because he was the oldest member of the Virginia delegation. 

"The Declaration of Independence was written in a house on the 
north side of Chestnut street, Philadelphia, between third and fourth, 
not a corner house. Heiskell s tavern, which has been pointed out as 
the house, is not the true one. 

"For depth of purpose, zeal, and sagacity, no man in Congress ex 
ceeded, if any equalled Sam. Adams; and none did more than he to 
originate and sustain revolutionary measures in Congress. But he 
could not speak; he had a hesitating, grunting manner. 

"John Adams was our Colossus on the floor. He was not graceful, 
nor elegant, nor remarkably fluent; but he came out, occasionally, 
with a power of thought and expression that moved us from our seats. 

"I feel much alarmed at the prospect of seeing General Jackson 
President. He is one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place. 
He has had very little respect for laws or constitutions, and is, in fact, 
an able military chief. His passions are terrible. When I was Presi 
dent of the Senate he was a Senator; and he could never speak on 
account of the rashness of his feelings. I have seen him attempt it 
repeatedly, and as often choke with rage. His passions are no doubt 
cooler now; he has been much tried since I knew him, but he is a 
dangerous man. 

"When I was in France, the Marquis de Chasteleux carried me over 
to Buffon s residence in the country, and introduced me to him. 

" It was Buffon s practice to remain in his study till dinner time, and 
receive no visitors under any pretence; but his house was open and 
his grounds, and a servant showed them very civilly, and invited all 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 393 

those who have had it from Hamilton s own mouth. 
I am one of those, and but one of many. At my 
own table, in presence of Mr. Adams, Knox, Ran 
dolph, and myself, in a dispute between Mr. Adams 
and himself, he avowed his preference of monarchy 
over every other government, and his opinion that 

strangers and friends to remain to dine. We saw Buffon in the garden, 
but carefully avoided him; but we dined with him, and he proved 
himself then, as he always did, a man of extraordinary powers in con 
versation. He did not declaim ; he was singularly agreeable. 

"I was introduced to him as Mr. Jefferson, who, in some notes on 
Virginia, had combated some of his opinions. Instead of entering into 
an argument, he took down his last work, presented it to me, and said, 
When Mr. Jefferson shall have read this, he will be perfectly satisfied 
that I am right. 

"Being about to embark from Philadelphia for France, I observed 
an uncommonly large panther skin at the door of a hatter s shop. I 
bought it for half a Jo (sixteen dollars) on the spot, determining to 
carry it to France to convince Monsieur Buffon of his mistake in rela 
tion to this animal; which he had confounded with the cougar. He 
acknowledged his mistake, and said he would correct it in his next 

"I attempted also to convince him of his error in relation to the 
common deer and the moose of America; he having confounded our 
deer with the red deer of Europe, and our moose with the reindeer. I 
told him that our deer had horns two feet long; he replied with warmth, 
that if I could produce a single specimen, with horns one foot long, he 
would give up the question. Upon this I wrote to Virginia for the 
horns of one of our deer, and obtained a very good specimen, four feet 
long. I told him also that the reindeer could walk under the belly of 
our moose; but he entirely scouted the idea. Whereupon I wrote to 
General Sullivan of New Hampshire. I desired him to send me the 
bones, skin, and antlers of our moose, supposing they could easily be 
procured by him. Six months afterwards my agent in England 
advised me that General Sullivan had drawn on him for forty guineas. 
I had forgotten my request, and wondered why such a draft had been 
made, but I paid it at once. A little later came a letter from General 
Sullivan, setting forth the manner in which he had complied with my 
request. He had been obliged to raise a company of nearly twenty 
men, had made an excursion towards the White Hills, camping out 
many nights, and had at last, after many difficulties, caught my moose, 

394 The Writings of [1825 

the English was the most perfect model of govern 
ment ever devised by the wit of man, Mr. Adams 
agreeing "if its corruptions were done away." 
While Hamilton insisted that "with these corrup 
tions it was perfect, and without them it would be 
an impracticable government." Can any one read 
Mr. Adams defence of the American constitutions 

boiled his bones in the desert, stuffed his skin, and remitted him to me. 
This accounted for my debt and convinced Mr. Buff on. He promised 
in his next volume to set these things right also, but he died directly 

"Madame Houdetot s society was one of the most agreeable in Paris 
when I was there. She inherited the materials of which it was com 
posed from Madame de Terrier and Madame Geoff rin. St. Lambert 
was always there, and it was generally believed that every evening on 
his return home, he wrote down the substance of the conversations he 
had held there with D Alembert, Diderot, and the other distinguished 
persons who frequented her house. From these conversations he 
made his books. 

" I knew the Baron de Grignon very well; he was quite ugly, and one 
of his legs was shorter than the other; but he was the most agreeable 
person in French society, and his opinion was always considered de 
cisive in matters relating to the theatre and painting. His persiflage 
was the keenest and most provoking I ever knew. 

"Madame Necker was a very sincere and excellent woman, but she 
was not very pleasant in conversation, for she was subject to what in 
Virginia we call the Budge, that is, she was very nervous and fidgety. 
She could rarely remain long in the same place, or converse long on the 
same subject. I have known her get up from table five or six times 
in the course of the dinner, and walk up and down her saloon to com 
pose herself. 

"Marmontel was a very amusing man. He dined with me every 
Thursday for a long time, and I think told some of the most agreeable 
stories I ever heard in my life. After his death, I found almost all of 
them in his memoirs, and I dare say he told them so well because he 
had written them before in his book. 

"I wish Mr. Pickering would make a radical lexicon. It would do 
more than anything else in the present state of the matter, to promote 
the study of Greek among us. Jones s Greek lexicon is very poor. I 
have been much disappointed in it. The best I have ever used is the 
Greek and French one by Planche." 

l82 5] Thomas Jefferson 395 

without seeing that he was a monarchist? And 
J. Q. Adams, the son, was more explicit than the 
father, in his answer to Paine s rights of man. So 
much for leaders. Their followers were divided. 
Some went the same lengths, others, and I believe 
the greater part, only wished a stronger Executive. 
When I arrived at New York in 1790, to take a part 
in the administration, being fresh from the French 
revolution, while in its first and pure stage, and 
consequently somewhat whetted up in my own 
republican principles, I found a state of things, in 
the general society of the place, which I could not 
have supposed possible. Being a stranger there, I 
was feasted from table to table, at large set dinners, 
the parties generally from twenty to thirty. The 
revolution I had left, and that we had just gone 
through in the recent change of our own govern 
ment, being the common topics of conversation, I 
was astonished to find the general prevalence of 
monarchical sentiments, insomuch that in main 
taining those of republicanism, I had always the 
whole company on my hands, never scarcely finding 
among them a single co-advocate in that argument, 
unless some old member of Congress happened to 
be present. The furthest that any one would go, 
in support of the republican features of our new 
government, would be to say, "the present consti 
tution is well as a beginning, and may be allowed a 
fair trial ; but it is, in fact, only a stepping stone to 
something better." Among their writers, Denny, 
the editor of the Portfolio, who was a kind of oracle 
with them, and styled the Addison of America, 

39 6 The Writings of [1825 

openly avowed his preference of monarchy over all 
other forms of government, prided himself on the 
avowal, and maintained it by argument freely and 
without reserve, in his publications. I do not, my 
self, know that the Essex junto of Boston were 
monarchists, but I have always heard it so said, and 
never doubted. 

These, my dear Sir, are but detached items from 
a great mass of proofs then fully before the public. 
They are unknown to you, because you were absent 
in Europe, and they are now disavowed by the 
party. But, had it not been for the firm and de 
termined stand then made by a counter-party, no 
man can say what our government would have been 
at this day. Monarchy, to be sure, is now defeated, 
and they wish it should be forgotten that it was ever 
advocated. They see that it is desperate, and treat 
its imputation to them as a calumny; and I verily 
believe that none of them have it now in direct aim. 
Yet the spirit is not done away. The same party 
takes now what they deem the next best ground, the 
consolidation of the government; the giving to the 
federal member of the government, by unlimited 
constructions of the constitution, a control over all 
the functions of the States, and the concentration of 
all power ultimately at Washington. 

The true history of that conflict of parties will 
never be in possession of the public, until, by the 
death of the actors in it, the hoards of their letters 
shall be broken up and given to the world. I 
should not fear to appeal to those of Harper himself, 
if he has kept copies of them, for abundant proof 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 397 

that he was himself a monarchist. I shall not live 
to see these unrevealed proofs, nor probably you; 
for time will be requisite. But time will, in the end, 
produce the truth. And, after all, it is but a truth 
which exists in every country, where not suppressed 
by the rod of despotism. Men, according to their 
constitutions, and the circumstances in which they 
are placed, differ honestly in opinion. Some are 
whigs, liberals, democrats, call them what you please. 
Others are tories, serviles, aristocrats, &c. The 
latter fear the people, and wish to transfer all power 
to the higher classes of society ; the former consider 
the people as the safest depository of power in the 
last resort; they cherish them therefore, and wish to 
leave in them all the powers to the exercise of which 
they are competent. This is the division of senti 
ment now existing in the United States. It is the 
common division of whig and tory, or according to 
our denominations of republican and federal; and 
is the most salutary of all divisions, and ought, 
therefore, to be fostered, instead of being amal 
gamated. For, take away this, and some more 
dangerous principle of division will take its place. 
But there is really no amalgamation. The parties 
exist now as heretofore. The one, indeed, has 
thrown off its old name, and has not yet assumed a 
new one, although obviously consolidationists. And 
among those in the offices of every denomination I 
believe it to be a bare minority. 

I have gone into these facts to show how one 
sided a view of this case Harper has presented. I 
do not recall these recollections with pleasure, but 

398 The Writings of [1825 

rather wish to forget them, nor did I ever permit 
them to affect social intercourse. And now, least 
of all, am disposed to do so. Peace and good will 
with all mankind is my sincere wish. I willingly 
leave to the present generation to conduct their 
affairs as they please. And in my general affection 
to the whole human family, and my particular de 
votion to my friends, be assured of the high and 
special estimation in which yourself is cordially held. 


MONTICELLO, Jan. 8. 25. 

DEAR SIR, Your favor of Dec. 20. is received. 
The Professors of our University, 8. in number, are 
all engaged. Those of antient & modern languages 
are already on the spot. Three more are hourly 
expected to arrive, and on their arrival the whole 
will assemble and enter on their duties. There re 
mains therefore no place in which we can avail our 
selves of the services of the revd. Mr. Bertram as a 
teacher. I wish we could do it as a Preacher. I 
am anxious to see the doctrine of one god com 
menced in our State. But the population of my 
neighborhood is too slender, and is too much divided 
into other sects to maintain any one Preacher well. 
I must therefore be contented to be an Unitarian by 
myself, altho I know there are many around me who 
would become so if once they could hear the question 
fairly stated. 

1 From a copy courteously furnished by Dr. J. S. H. Fogg, of Boston. 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 399 

Your account of Mr. Adams afflicts me deeply: 
and I join with him in the question, Is existence, 
such as either his or mine, worth anxiety for it s 
continuance. The value of life is equivocal with all 
its faculties and channels of enjoyment in full ex 
ercise. But when these have been withdrawn from 
us by age, the balance of pain preponderates un 
equivocally. It is true that if my friend was doomed 
to a paralysis either of body or mind, he has been 
fortunate in retaining the vigor of his mind and 
memory. The most undesirable of all things is long 
life: and there is nothing I have ever so much 
dreaded. Altho subject to occasional indispositions, 
my health is too good generally not to give me fears 
on that subject. I am weak indeed in body, able 
scarcely to walk into my garden without too much 
fatigue. But a ride of 6. 8. or 10. miles a day gives 
me none. Still however a start or stumble of my 
horse, or some one of the many accidents which con 
stantly beset us, may cut short the toughest thread 
of life, and relieve me from the evils of dotage. 
Come when it will, it will find me neither unready 
nor unwilling. To yourself I wish as long a life as 
you choose and health and prosperity to it s end. 


MONTO Jan. n. 25. 

DEAR SIR, Your favor of Dec. 28. is duly re 
ceived, and gladdens me with the information that 
you continue to enjoy health ; it is a principal mitign 
of the evils of age. I wish that the situatn of our 

400 The Writings of [1825 

friend Mr. Adams was equally comfortable. But 
what I learn of his physical condition is truly de 
plorable. His mind however continues strong and 
firm, his memory sound, his hearing perfect & his 
spirits good. But both he and myself are at that 
term of life when there is nothing before us to pro 
duce anxiety for it s continuance. I am sorry for the 
occasion of expressing my condolance on the loss 
mento. in your letter. The solitude in which we are 
left by the death of our friends is one of the great 
evils of protracted life. When I look back to the 
days of my youth it is like looking over a field of 
battle. All, all dead ! and ourselves left alone midst 
a new genern whom we know not, and who know 
not us. I thank you beforehand for the book of 
your friend P. Vreede of which you have been so 
kind as to bespeak a copy for me. On the subject 
of my portefeuille, be assured it contains nothing 
but copies of my letters. In these I have sometimes 
indulged myself in reflections on the things which 
have been passing. Some of them, like that to the 
quaker to which you refer, may give a moment s 
amusement to a reader, and from the voluminous 
mass when I am dead, a selection may perhaps be 
made of a few which may have interest enough to 
bear a single reading. Mine has been too much a 
life of action to allow my mind to wander from the 
occurrences pressing on it. I have been lately read 
ing a most extraordinary book, that of M. Flour ens 
on the functions of the nervous system in verte- 
brated animals. He proves by too many, and too 
accurate experiments to admit contradiction, that 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 401 

from such animals the whole contents of the cere 
brum may be taken out, leaving the cerebellum and 
the rest of the system uninjured, and the animal 
continue to live in perfect health an indefinite 
period. He mentions particularly a case of ioj 
months of survivance of a pullet. In that state the 
animal is deprived of every sense, of perception, in 
telligence, memory and thought of every degree. 
It will perish on a heap of grain unless you cram it 
down it s throat. It retains the powers of motion, 
but feeling no motive, it never moves unless from 
external excitement. He demonstrates in fact that 
the cerebrum is the organ of thought, and possesses 
alone the faculty of thinking. This is a terrible tub 
thrown out to the Athanasians. They must tell us 
whether the soul remains in the body in this state 
deprived of the power of thought ? Or does it leave 
the body as in death ? And where does it go ? Can 
it be received in heaven while it s body is living on 
earth? These and a multitude of other questions it 
will be incumbent on them to answer otherwise than 
by the dogma that every one who believeth not 
with them, without doubt shall perish everlastingly. 
The materialist fortified with these new proofs of his 
own creed, will hear with derision these Athanasian 
denunciations. It will not be very long before you 
and I shall know the truth of all this, and in the 
meantime I pray for the continuance of your health, 
contentment & comfort. 

VOL. XII. 26 

402 The Writings of [1825 


MONTICELLO Feb. 13. 25. 

SIR, Your favor of the 3d was reed some days 
ago, and I have taken time to make a thorough 
search among my papers for whatever might relate 
to Mr. Sibley, but to no effective purpose. The 
part of his correspdce which related to public mat 
ters was with the Secy, at war. The few letters I 
have of his respect matters of curiosity, Indn vo 
cabularies & things of that kind. When we acquired 
Louisiana we were exceedingly uninformed of every 
thing relating to it. I addressed enquiries to every 
individual of the country who I thought might give 
us informn, and I remember that I considered that 
furnished by Dr. Sibley as distinguished in it s value. 
At the ensuing Congress I communicated the whole 
to that body and it was printed and made a large 
8vo; the originals, and their printed copy were 
probably burnt by the British, but the printed copy 
which I had kept for myself went afterwards to 
Washington with my library and may there be 
turned to. It will be found entered in the printed 
catalogue pa. 104, No. 261 under the title of " State 
papers 1793-1812. 36. v. 8vo." The date of the 
communicn Nov. i4th, 1803 will point to the par 
ticular vol. In this will probably be found much 
of the informn received from Dr. Sibley, which will 
give an idea of the extent & value of his services to 
us on that occasion. 

With respect to the two articles particularly stated 
in your Ire I have carefully examd. all my papers & 
letters of the years 1804. & 1805, and do not find 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 403 

the scrip of a pen relating to them. My memory 
furnishes me with some general recollections on 
which I can depend as to De la Harpe s journal, but 
several of the particulars are too faintly recalled to 
be depended on. For example I am not certain 
whether the correspdce and orders on that subject 
passed between Govr. Claiborne & myself or the 
war office and Dr. Sibley. My impression altho 
faint, is that it was Govr. Claiborne who informed 
me of the existence of that book in the hands of an 
individual, and that it could be purchased, giving 
such a description of it s contents as shewed it to be 
highly important to us in our then uninformed state. 
I think he had got his informn of it from Dr. Sibley. 
We directed the purchase to be made, & that before 
trusting the original to the mail, a copy should be 
taken (as I think, but your letter says two & it may 
be so) and sent by successive mails. They were 
safely reed, and I have believed the cost of the whole 
had been reimbursed promptly either to Claiborne 
or Dr. Sibley through whose agency it was obtained. 
The importance of the work consisted in this. De 
la Harpe was in some considble office in the govmt 
of Louisiana & kept a private and regular journal 
of the public transactions. The French considd the 
Rio bravo as the Western boundary of Louisiana, 
but the Spaniards claimed indefinitely to the east of 
the river. The Fr. & Span, neighboring governors 
with certain mercantile assciates entered into a 
Contraband commerce, the former furnishing French 
merchandise, and receiving from the latter in ex 
change hard dollars. But the distance between 

404 The Writings of [1825 

N. O. & the Rio bravo occasd inconveniences & 
difficulties and therefore the French Govr. winked 
at the Spaniard s takg a small post at Nacagdoches, 
and made his reclmns so faintly as not to disturb the 
post. I cite these transactions by memory but be 
lieve without material error. When we acquired 
Louisiana we considd it as extending to the Rio 
Bravo and so Bonaparte declared to our Commis 
sioners and that he should have taken possn to that 
extent. But Spain under color of the corrupt foot 
hold she had got at this and one or two other small 
posts, claimed the country agt us on the ground of 
possn. This journal of De la Harpe clearly proves 
how fraudulently it had been obtained, and was 
therefore to us of the utmost importance. Hence 
our anxiety to guard against it s loss by having it 
copied and trusted to diift mails. The original being 
lodged in the office of the Secretary of State, I re 
tained a copy in my office, to be recurred to in pre 
paring instrns for our Minister at Madrid. When I 
removd from Washington it was inadvertently 
packed with my own books & papers, and not at 
tended to until the burning of the public records 
at Washn. brought the thing to my mind. I im 
mediately sent the copy to the Secretary of State in 
whose office it now doubtless is and will prove that 
it s importce justified the price it cost us. 

Of the other transaction respecting the purchases 
of horses &c. to bring a party of Indns to Washn. I 
have not the slightest trace either in writing or 
recollection. To the great value which was set on 
Dr. Sibley s services by the admn of that day I 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 405 

bear testimony willingly as an act of duty & of 

I am sorry that the decay of my memory does not 
permit me to offer anything further and pray you be 
assured of my great respect & esteem. 


MONTICELLO, February 21, 1825. 

This letter will, to you, be as one from the dead. 
The writer will be in the grave before you can weigh 
its counsels. Your affectionate and excellent father 
has requested that I would address to you something 
which might possibly have a favorable influence on 
the course of life you have to run, and I too, as a 
namesake, feel an interest in that course. Few 
words will be necessary, with good dispositions on 
your part. Adore God. Reverence and cherish your 
parents. Love your neighbor as yourself, and 
your country more than yourself. Be just. Be 
true. Murmur not at the ways of Providence. So 
shall the life into which you have entered, be the 
portal to one of eternal and ineffable bliss. And if 
to the dead it is permitted to care for the things of 
this world, every action of your life will be under my 
regard. Farewell. 

The portrait of a good man by the most sublime of poets, 
for your imitation. 

Lord, who s the happy man that may to thy blest courts 

repair ; 
Not stranger-like to visit them but to inhabit there ? 

406 The Writings of [1825 

Tis he whose every thought and deed by rules of virtue 

moves ; 
Whose generous tongue disdains to speak the thing his heart 


Who never did a slander forge, his neighbor s fame to wound; 
Nor hearken to a false report, by malice whispered round. 
Who vice in all its pomp and power, can treat with just 

neglect ; 

And piety, though clothed in rags, religiously respect. 
Who to his plighted vows and trust has ever firmly stood ; 
And though he promise to his loss, he makes his promise good. 
Whose soul in usury disdains his treasure to employ ; 
Whom no rewards can ever bribe the guiltless to destroy. 
The man, who, by this steady course, has happiness insur d, 
When earth s foundations shake, shall stand, by Providence 

secur d. 

A Decalogue of Canons for observation in practical life. 

1. Never put off till to-morrow what you can do 

2. Never trouble another for what you can do 

3. Never spend your money before you have it. 

4. Never buy what you do not want, because it 
is cheap; it will be dear to you. 

5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and 

6. We never repent of having eaten too little. 

7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly. 

8. How much pain have cost us the evils which 
have never happened. 

9. Take things always by their smooth handle. 
10. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if 

very angry, an hundred. 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 407 


MONTICELLO, April 3, 1825. 

DEAR SIR, Your favor of March 25th has been 
duly received. The fact is unquestionable, that the 
Bill of Rights, and the Constitution of Virginia, were 
drawn originally by George Mason, one of our really 
great men, and of the first order of greatness. The 
history of the Preamble to the latter is this : I was 
then at Philadelphia with Congress; and knowing 
that the Convention of Virginia was engaged in 
forming a plan of government, I turned my mind to 
the same subject, and drew a sketch or outline of a 
Constitution, with a preamble, which I sent to Mr. 
Pendleton, president of the convention, on the mere 
possibility that it might suggest something worth 
incorporation into that before the convention. He 
informed me afterwards by letter, that he received 
it on the day on which the Committee of the Whole 
had reported to the House the plan they had agreed 
to; that that had been so long in hand, so disputed 
inch by inch, and the subject of so much altercation 
and debate; that they were worried with the con 
tentions it had produced, and could not, from mere 
lassitude, have been induced to open the instrument 
again; but that, being pleased with the Preamble 
to mine, they adopted it in the House, by way of 
amendment to the Report of the Committee; and 
thus my Preamble became tacked to the work of 
George Mason. The Constitution, with the Pre 
amble, was passed on the 2gth of June, and the 
Committee of Congress had only the day before that 
reported to that body the draught of the Declaration 

408 The Writings of [1825 

of Independence. The fact is, that that Preamble 
was prior in composition to the Declaration; and 
both having the same object, of justifying our 
separation from Great Britain, they used necessarily 
the same materials of justification, and hence their 

Withdrawn by age from all other public services 
and attentions to public things, I am closing the 
last scenes of life by fashioning and fostering an 
establishment for the instruction of those who are to 
come after us. I hope its influence on their virtue, 
freedom, fame and happiness, will be salutary and 
permanent. The form and distributions of its struc 
ture are original and unique, the architecture chaste 
and classical, and the whole well worthy of attract 
ing the curiosity of a visit. Should it so prove to 
yourself at any time, it will be a great gratification 
to me to see you once more at Monticello ; and I pray 
you to be assured of my continued and high respect 
and esteem. 


MONTICELLO, May 8, 1825. 

DEAR SIR, * * * That George Mason was 
author of the bill of rights, and of the constitution 
founded on it, the evidence of the day established 
fully in my mind. Of the paper you mention, pur 
porting to be instructions to the Virginia delegation 
in Congress, I have no recollection. If it were any 
thing more than a project of some private hand, that 
is to say, had any such instructions been ever given 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 409 

by the convention, they would appear in the jour 
nals, which we possess entire. But with respect to 
our rights, and the acts of the British government 
contravening those rights, there was but one opinion 
on this side of the water. All American whigs 
thought alike on these subjects. When forced, 
therefore, to resort to arms for redress, an appeal 
to the tribunal of the world was deemed proper for 
our justification. This was the object of the 
Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new 
principles, or new arguments, never before thought 
of, not merely to say things which had never been 
said before; but to place before mankind the com 
mon sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm 
as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves 
in the independent stand we are compelled to take. 
Neither aiming at originality of principle or senti 
ment, nor yet copied from any particular and 
previous writing, it was intended to be an expression 
of the American mind, and to give to that expression 
the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion. 
All its authority rests then on the harmonizing 
sentiments of the day, whether expressed in con 
versation, in letters, printed essays, or in the ele 
mentary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero , 
Locke, Sidney, &c. The historical documents which 
you mention as in your possession, ought all to be 
found, and I am persuaded you will find, to be cor 
roborative of the facts and principles advanced in 
that Declaration. Be pleased to accept assurances 
of my great esteem and respect. 

The Writings of [1825 


MONTICELLO, AugUSt 7, 1825. 

I have duly received, dear Madam, your letter of 
July 26th, and learn from it with much regret, that 
Miss Wright, your sister, is so much indisposed as to 
be obliged to visit our medicinal springs. I wish 
she may be fortunate in finding those which may be 
adapted to her case. We have taken too little pains 
to ascertain the properities of our different mineral 
waters, the cases in which they are respectively 
remedial, the proper process in their use, and other 
circumstances necessary to give us their full value. 
My own health is very low, not having been able to 
leave the house for three months, and suffering much 
at times. In this state of body and mind, your 
letter could not have found a more inefficient 
counsellor, one scarcely able to think or to write. 
At the age of eighty -two, with one foot in the grave, 
and the other uplifted to follow it, I do not permit 
myself to take part in any new enterprises, even for 
bettering the condition of man, not even in the great 
one which is the subject of your letter, and which has 
been through life that of my greatest anxieties. 
The march of events has not been such as to render 
its completion practicable within the limits of time 
allotted to me; and I leave its accomplishment as 
the work of another generation. And I am cheered 
when I see that on which it is devolved, taking it 
up with so much good will, and such minds engaged 
in its encouragement. The abolition of the evil is 
not impossible; it ought never therefore to be 
despaired of. Every plan should be adopted, every 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 41* 

experiment tried, which may do something towards, 
the ultimate object. That which you propose is 
well worthy of trial. It has succeeded with certain 
portions of our white brethren, under the care of a 
Rapp and an Owen; and why may it not succeed 
with the man of color? An opinion is hazarded by 
some, but proved by none, that moral urgencies are 
not sufficient to induce him to labor; that nothing 
can do this but physical coercion. But this is a 
problem which the present age alone is prepared to 
solve by experiment. It would be a solecism to 
suppose a race of animals created, without sufficient 
foresight and energy to preserve their own existence. 
It is disproved, too, by the fact that they exist, and 
have existed through all the ages of history. We 
are not sufficiently acquainted with all the nations 
of Africa, to say that there may not be some in which 
habits of industry are established, and the arts 
practised which are necessary to render life com 
fortable. The experiment now in progress in St. 
Domingo, those of Sierra Leone and Cape Mesurado,. 
are but beginning. Your proposition has its aspects 
of promise also; and should it not answer fully to 
calculations in figures, it may yet, in its develop 
ments, lead to happy results. These, however, I 
must leave to another generation. The enterprise 
of a different, but yet important character, in which 
I have embarked too late in life, I find more than 
sufficient to occupy the enfeebled energies remaining 
to me, and that to divert them to other objects, 
would be a desertion of these. You are young, 
dear Madam, and have powers of mind which may 

412 The Writings of [1825 

do much in exciting others in this arduous task. I 
am confident they will be so exerted, and I pray to 
heaven for their success, and that you may be re 
warded with the blessings which such efforts merit. 


MONTICELLO, September 16, 1825. 

DEAR SIR, I am not able to give you any par 
ticular account of the paper handed you by Mr. 
Lee, as being either the original or a copy of the 
Declaration of Independence, sent by myself to his 
grandfather. The draught, when completed by 
myself, with a few verbal amendments by Dr. 
Franklin and Mr. Adams, two members of the com 
mittee, in their own hand-writing, is now in my own 
possession, and a fair copy of this was reported to 
the committee, passed by them without amendment, 
and then reported to Congress. This latter should 
be among the records of the old Congress; and 
whether this or the one from which it was copied 
and now in my hands, is to be called the original, is 
a question of definition. To that in my hands, if 
worth preserving, my relations with our University 
gives irresistible claims. Whenever, in the course 
of the composition, a copy became over-charged, 
and difficult to be read with amendments, I copied it 
fair, and when that also was crowded with other 
amendments, another fair copy was made, &c. 
These rough draughts I sent to distant friends who 
were anxious to know what was passing. But how 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 4*3 

many, and to whom, I do not recollect. One sent to 
Mazzei was given by him to the Countess de Tesse 
(aunt of Madame de Lafayette) as the original, and 
is probably now in the hands of her family. Whether 
the paper sent to R. H. Lee was one of these, or 
whether, after the passage of the instrument, I made 
a copy for him, with the amendments of Congress, 
may, I think, be known from the face of the paper. 
The documents Mr. Lee has given you must be of 
great value, and until all these private hoards are 
made public, the real history of the revolution will 
not be known. 


MONTICELLO, September 26, 1825. 

DEAR SIR, It is not for me to estimate the im 
portance of the circumstances concerning which 
your letter of the 8th makes inquiry. They prove, 
even in their minuteness, the sacred attachments of 
our fellow citizens to the event of which the paper 
of July 4th, 1776, was but the declaration, the 
genuine effusion of the soul of our country at that 
time. Small things may, perhaps, like the relics of 
saints, help to nourish our devotion to this holy 
bond of our Union, and keep it longer alive and 
warm in our affections. This effect may give im 
portance to circumstances, however small. At the 
time of writing that instrument, I lodged in the 
house of a Mr. Graaf , a new brick house, three stories 
high, of which I rented the second floor, consisting 
of a parlor and bed -room, ready furnished. In that 

4*4 The Writings of [1825 

parlor I wrote habitually, and in it wrote this paper, 
particularly. So far I state from written proofs in 
my possession. The proprietor, Graaf , was a young 
man, son of a German, and then newly married. I 
think he was a bricklayer, and that his house was on 
the south side of Market street, probably between 
Seventh and Eighth streets, and if not the only 
house on that part of the street, I am sure there 
were few others near it. I have some idea that it 
was a corner house, but no other recollections throw 
ing light on the question, or worth communication. 
I am ill, therefore only add assurance of my great 
respect and esteem. 


MONTICELLO Dec. 18. 25. 

DEAR SIR, Your letters are always welcome, the 
last more than all others, it s subject being one of 
the dearest to my heart. To my granddaughter 
your commendations cannot fail to be an object of 
high ambition, also certain passports to the good 
opinion of the world. If she does not cultivate 
them with assiduity and affection, she will illy fulfill 
my parting injunctions. I trust she will merit a 
continuance of your favor, and find in her new 
situation the general esteem she so happily possessed 
in the society she left. You tell me she repeated 
to you an expression of mine that I should be willing 
to go again over the scenes of past life. I should 
not be unwilling, without however wishing it. And 
why not? I have enjoyed a greater share of health 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 4*5 

than falls to the lot of most men; and my spirits 
have never failed me except tinder those paroxysms 
of grief which you, as well as myself, have experienced 
in every form: and with good health and good 
spirits the pleasures surely outweigh the pains of 
life. Why not then taste them again, fat and lean 
together. Were I indeed permitted to cut off from 
the train the last seven years, the balance would be 
much in favor of treading the ground over again, 
being at that period in the neighborhood of our 
Warm springs, and well in health. I wished to be 
better, and tried them. They destroyed in a great 
degree, my internal organism, and I have never 
since had a moment of perfect health. I have now 
been 8 months confined almost constantly to the 
house, with now and then intervals of a few days 
on which I could get on horseback. 

I presume you have received a copy of the life of 
Richd. H. Lee from his grandson of the same name, 
author of the work. You and I know that he 
merited much during the revolution. Eloquent, 
bold and ever watchful at his post, of which his 
biographer omits no proof. I am not certain 
whether the friends of George Mason, of Patrick 
Henry, yourself, and even of Genl. Washington 
may not reclaim some feathers of the plumage 
given him, noble as was his proper and original coat. 
But on this subject I will not anticipate your own 

I learn with sincere pleasure that you have ex 
perienced lately a great renovation of your health. 
That it may continue to the ultimate period of your 

The Writings of [1825 

wishes is the sincere prayer of us quere ad aras ami- 
cissime tui. 


MONTICELLO, December 24, 1825. 

DEAR SIR, I have for some time considered the 
question of internal improvement as desperate. 
The torrent of general opinion sets so strongly in 
favor of it as to be irresistible. And I suppose that 
even the opposition in Congress will hereafter be 
feeble and formal, unless something can be done 
which may give a gleam of encouragement to our 
friends, or alarm their opponents in their fancied 
security. I learn from Richmond that those who 
think with us there are in a state of perfect dismay, 
not knowing what to do or what to propose. Mr. 
Gordon, our representative, particularly, has written 
to me in very desponding terms, not disposed to 
yield indeed, but pressing for opinions and advice 
on the subject. I have no doubt you are pressed in 
the same way, and I hope you have devised and 
recommended something to them. If you have, 
stop here and read no more, but consider all that 
follows as non-avenue. I shall be better satisfied to 
adopt implicitly anything which you may have ad 
vised, than anything occurring to myself. For I 
have long ceased to think on subjects of this kind, 
and pay little attention to public proceedings. But 
if you have done nothing in it, then I risk for your 
consideration what has occurred to me, and is ex 
pressed in the enclosed paper. Bailey s proposi 
tions, which came to hand since I wrote the paper, 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 4*7 

and which I suppose to have come from the Presi 
dent himself, show a little hesitation in the purposes 
of his party; and in that state of mind, a bolt shot 
critically may decide the contest by its effect on the 
less bold. The olive branch held out to them at this 
moment may be accepted and the constitution thus 
saved at a moderate sacrifice. I say nothing of the 
paper, which will explain itself. The following 
heads of consideration, or some of them, may weigh 
in its favor: 

It may intimidate the wavering. It may break 
the western coalition, by offering the same thing in 
a different form. It will be viewed with favor in 
contrast with the Georgia opposition and fear of 
strengthening that. It will be an example of a 
temperate mode of opposition in future and similar 
cases. It will delay the measure a year at least. 
It will give us the chance of better times and of 
intervening accidents; and in no way place us in a 
worse than our present situation. I do not dwell 
on these topics; your mind will develop them. 

The first question is, whether you approve of doing 
anything of the kind. If not, send it back to me, 
and it shall be suppressed; for I would not hazard 
so important a measure against your opinion, nor 
even without its support. If you think it may be a 
canvass on which to put something good, make what 
alterations you please, and I will forward it to 
Gordon, under the most sacred injunctions that it 
shall be so used as that not a shadow of suspicion 
shall fall on you or myself, that it has come from 
either of us. But what you do, do as promptly as 

VOL. XII. 27. 

4i 8 The Writings of [1825 

your convenience will admit, lest it shall be an 
ticipated by something worse. 1 


MONTICELLO, December 25, 1825. 

DEAR SIR, Your favor of the i5th was received 
four days ago. It found me engaged in what I could 
not lay aside till this day. 

Far advanced in my eighty -third year, worn down 

1 "The solemn Declaration and Protest of the Commonwealth of 
Virginia on the principles of the constitution of the US. of America & 
on the violations of them. 

"We the General Assembly of Virginia, on behalf, and in the name of 
the people thereof do declare as follows. 

" The states in N. America which confederated to establish their in- 
dependance of the government of Great Britain, of which Virginia 
was one, became, on that acquisition, free and independant states, and 
as such authorised to constitute governments, each for itself, in such 
form as it thought best. 

" They entered into a compact (which is called the Constitution of the 
US. of America) by which they agreed to unite in a single government 
as to their relations with each other, and with foreign nations, and as to 
certain other articles particularly specified. They retained at the same 
time, each to itself the other rights of independant government com 
prehending mainly their domestic interests. 

" For the administration of their Federal branch they agreed to ap 
point, in conjunction, a distinct set of functionaries, legislative, 
executive and judiciary, in the manner settled in that compact: while 
to each severally and of course, remained it s original right of appoint 
ing, each for itself, a separate set of functionaries, legislative, executive 
and judiciary also, for administering the Domestic branch of their 
respective governments. 

" Those two sets of officers, each independant of the other, constitute 
thus a whole of government, for each state separately the powers 
ascribed to the one, as specifically made federal, exercisable over the 
whole, the residuary powers, retained to the other, exercisable exclu 
sively over it s particular state, foreign herein, each to the others, as 
they were before their original compact. 

" To this construction of government & distribution of it s powers, the 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 419 

with infirmities which have confined me almost en 
tirely to the house for seven or eight months past, 
it afflicts me much to receive appeals to my memory 
for transactions so far back as that which is the sub 
ject of your letter. My memory is indeed become 
almost a blank, of which no better proof can prob 
ably be given you than by my solemn protestation, 

Commonwealth of Virginia does religiously and affectionately adhere, 
opposing with equal fidelity and firmness, the usurpation of either set 
of functionaries on the rightful powers of the other. 

" But the federal branch has assumed in some cases and claimed in 
others, a right of enlarging it s own powers by constructions, inferences, 
and indefinite deductions, from those directly given, which this assem 
bly does declare to be usurpations of the powers retained to the in- 
dependant branches, mere interpolations into the compact, and direct 
infractions of it. 

" They claim for example, and have commenced the exercise of a right 
to construct roads, open canals, & effect other internal improvements 
within the territories and jurisdictions exclusively belonging to the 
several states, which this assembly does declare has not been given to 
that branch by the constitutional compact, but remain to each state 
among it s domestic and unalienated powers exercisable within itself, 
and by it s domestic authorities alone. 

" This assembly does further disavow, and declare to be most false 
and unfounded, the doctrine, that the compact, in authorising it s 
federal branch to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises to 
pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare 
of the U S. has given them thereby a power to do whatever they 
may think, or pretend, would promote the general welfare, which 
construction would make that, of itself, a complete government, with 
out limitation of powers; but that the plain sense and obvious mean 
ing was that they might levy the taxes necessary to provide for the 
general welfare by the various acts of power therein specified and 
delegated to them, and by no others. 

" Nor is it admitted, as has been said, that the people of these states, 
by not investing their federal branch with all means of bettering their 
condition, have denied to themselves any which may effect that pur 
pose since, in the distribution of these means, they have given to that 
branch those which belong to it s department, and to the states have 
reserved separately the residue which belong to them separately. 
And thus by the organization of the two branches taken together, have 

4 2 o The Writings of [1825 

that I have not the least recollection of your inter 
vention between Mr. John Q. Adams and myself, in 
what passed on the subject of the embargo. Not 
the slightest trace of it remains in my mind. Yet I 

completely secured the first object of human association, the full 
improvement of their condition, and reserved to themselves all the 
faculties of multiplying their own blessings. 

" Whilst the General assembly thus declares the rights retained by 
the states, rights which they have never yielded, and which this state 
will never voluntarily yield, they do not mean to raise the banner of 
disaffection, or of separation from their sister- states, co-parties with 
themselves to this compact. They know and value too highly the 
blessings of their union as to foreign nations and questions arising 
among themselves, to consider every infraction as to be met by 
actual resistance; they respect too affectionately the opinions of 
those possessing the same rights under the same instrument, to 
make every difference of construction a ground of immediate rupture. 
They would indeed consider such a rupture as among the greatest 
calamities which could befall them; but not the greatest. There is 
yet one greater, submission to a government of unlimited powers. 
It is only when the hope of avoiding this shall become absolutely 
desperate that further forbearance could not be indulged. Should a 
majority of the Co-parties therefore contrary to the expectation and 
hope of this assembly, perfer at this time, acquiescence in these 
assumptions of power by the federal member of the government, we 
will be patient and suffer much, under the confidence that time, ere 
it be too late, will prove to them also the bitter consequences in which 
this usurpation will involve us all. In the mean while we will breast 
with them, rather than separate from them, every misfortune save 
that only of living under a government of unlimited powers. We 
owe every other sacrifice to ourselves, to our federal brethren, and to 
the world at large, to pursue with temper and perseverance the great 
experiment which shall prove that man is capable of living in society, 
governing itself by laws self-imposed, and securing to it s members 
the enjoyment of life, liberty, property and peace; and further to shew 
that even when the government of it s choice shall shew a tendency 
to degeneracy, we are not at once to despair but that the will & the 
watchfulness of it s sounder parts will reform it s aberrations, recall 
it to original and legitimate principles and restrain it within the 
rightful limits of self-government. And these are the objects of this 
Declaration and Protest. 

" Supposing then that it might be for the good of the whole, as some 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 421 

have no doubt of the exactitude of the statement in 
your letter. And the less, as I recollect the inter 
view with Mr. Adams, to which the previous com 
munications which had passed between him and 
yourself were probably and naturally the prelimin 
ary. That interview I remember well; not indeed 
in the very words which passed between us, but in 

of it s Oo-states seem to think, that this power of making roads and 
canals should be added to those directly given to the federal branch, 
as more likely to be systematically and beneficially directed, than by 
the independant action of the several states, this Commonwealth, 
from respect to these opinions, and a desire of conciliation with it s 
Go-states, will consent, in concurrence with them, to make this ad 
dition, provided it be done regularly by an amendment of the com 
pact, in the way established by that instrument, and provided also 
it be sufficiently guarded against abuses, compromises, and corrupt 
practices, not only of possible, but of probable occurrence. And as 
a further pledge of the sincere and cordial attachment of this common 
wealth to the Union of the whole so far as has been consented to by 
the compact called the Constitution of the US. of America (con 
strued according to the plain and ordinary meaning of it s language, 
to the common intendment of the time, and of those who framed it) 
to give also to all parties and authorities time for reflection, and for 
consideration whether, under a temperate view of the possible con 
sequences, and especially of the constant obstructions which an 
equivocal majority must ever expect to meet, they will still prefer 
the assumption of this power rather than it s acceptance from the 
free will of their constituents, and to preserve peace in the meanwhile, 
we proceed to make it the duty of our citizens, until the legislature 
shall otherwise & ultimately decide, to acquiesce under those acts of 
the federal branch of our government which we have declared to be 
usurpations, and against which, in point of right, we do protest as 
null and void, and never to be quoted as precedents of right. 

" We therefore do enact, and be it enacted by the General assembly 
of Virginia that all citizens of this commonwealth, and persons and 
authorities within the same, shall pay full obedience at all times to 
the Acts which may be past by the Congress of the US. the object 
of which shall be the construction of post roads, making canals of 
navigation, and maintaining the same in any part of the US. in like 
manner as if the said acts were, totidem verbis past by the legislature 
of this commonwealth." 

422 The Writings of [1825 

their substance, which was of a character too awful, 
too deeply engraved in my mind, and influencing too 
materially the course I had to pursue, ever to be 
forgotten. Mr. Adams called on me pending the 
embargo, and while endeavors were making to ob 
tain its repeal. He made some apologies for the 
call, on the ground of our not being then in the 
habit of confidential communications, but that 
which he had then to make, involved too seriously 
the interest of our country not to overrule all other 
considerations with him, and make it his duty to 
reveal it to myself particularly. I assured him 
there was no occasion for any apology for his visit; 
that, on the contrary, his communications would be 
thankfully received, and would add a confirmation 
the more to my entire confidence in the rectitude 
and patriotism of his conduct and principles. He 
spoke then of the dissatisfaction of the eastern por 
tion of our confederacy with the restraints of the 
embargo then existing, and their restlessness under 
it. That there was nothing which might not be 
attempted, to rid themselves of it. That he had 
information of the most unquestionable certainty, 
that certain citizens of the eastern States (I think 
he named Massachusetts particularly) were in nego 
tiation with agents of the British government, the 
object of which was an agreement that the New 
England States should take no further part in the 
war then going on ; that, without formally declaring 
their separation from the Union of the States, they 
should withdraw from all aid and obedience to them ; 
that their navigation and commerce should be free 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 423 

from restraint and interruption by the British ; that 
they should be considered and treated by them as 
neutrals, and as such might conduct themselves 
towards both parties; and, at the close of the war, 
be at liberty to rejoin the confederacy. He as 
sured me that there was eminent danger that the 
convention would take place; that the tempta 
tions were such as might debauch many from their 
fidelity to the Union ; and that, to enable its friends 
to make head against it, the repeal of the embargo 
was absolutely necessary. I expressed a just sense 
of the merit of this information, and of the impor 
tance of the disclosure to the safety and even the 
salvation of our country; and however reluctant I 
was to abandon the measure, (a measure which 
persevered in a little longer, we had subsequent and 
satisfactory assurance would have effected its object 
completely,) from that moment, and influenced by 
that information, I saw the necessity of abandoning 
it, and instead of effecting our purpose by this peace 
ful weapon, we must fight it out, or break the Union. 
I then recommended to yield to the necessity of a 
repeal of the embargo, and to endeavor to supply 
its place by the best substitute, in which they could 
procure a general concurrence. 

I cannot too often repeat, that this statement is 
not pretended to be in the very words which passed ; 
that it only gives faithfully the impression remaining 
on my mind. The very words of a conversation are 
too transient and fugitive to be so long retained in 
remembrance. But the substance was too impor 
tant to be forgotten, not only from the revolution 

4 2 4 The Writings of [1825 

of measures it obliged me to adopt, but also from the 
renewals of it in my memory on the frequent oc 
casions I have had of doing justice to Mr. Adams, 
by repeating this proof of his fidelity to his country, 
and of his superiority over all ordinary considera 
tions when the safety of that was brought into 

With this best exertion of a waning memory 
which I can command, accept assurances of my 
constant and affectionate friendship and respect. 


MONTICELLO, December 26, 1825. 

DEAR SIR, I wrote you a letter yesterday, of 
which you will be free to make what use you please. 
This will contain matters not intended for the public 
eye. I see, as you do, and with the deepest afflic 
tion, the rapid strides with which the federal branch 
of our government is advancing towards the usurpa 
tion of all the rights reserved to the States, and the 
consolidation in itself of all powers, foreign and 
domestic; and that, too, by constructions which, if 
legitimate, leave no limits to their power. Take 
together the decisions of the federal court, the 
doctrines of the President, and the misconstruc 
tions of the constitutional compact acted on by 
the legislature of the federal branch, and it is but 
too evident, that the three ruling branches of that 
department are in combination to strip their col 
leagues, the State authorities, of the powers reserved 
by them, and to exercise themselves all functions 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 425 

foreign and domestic. Under the power to regulate 
commerce, they assume indefinitely that also over 
agriculture and manufactures, and call it regulation 
to take the earnings of one of these branches of 
industry, and that too the most depressed, and put 
them into the pockets of the other, the most flour 
ishing of all. Under the authority to establish post 
roads, they claim that of cutting down mountains 
for the construction of roads, of digging canals, and 
aided by a little sophistry on the words general 
welfare," a right to do, not only the acts to effect 
that, which are specifically enumerated and per 
mitted, but whatsoever they shall think, or pretend 
will be for the general welfare. And what is our 
resource for the preservation of the constitution? 
Reason and argument? You might as well reason 
and argue with the marble columns encircling them. 
The representatives chosen by ourselves? They are 
joined in the combination, some from incorrect views 
of government, some from corrupt ones, sufficient 
voting together to out-number the sound parts ; and 
with majorities only of one, two, or three, bold 
enough to go forward in defiance. Are we then 
to stand to our arms, with the hot-headed Georgian? 
No. That must be the last resource, not to be 
thought of until much longer and greater sufferings. 
If every infraction of a compact of so many parties 
is to be resisted at once, as a dissolution of it, none 
can ever be formed which would last one year. We 
must have patience and longer endurance then with 
our brethren while under delusion; give them time 
for reflection and experience of consequences; keep 

426 The Writings of [1825 

ourselves in a situation to profit by the chapter of 
accidents; and separate from our companions only 
when the sole alternatives left, are the dissolution of 
our Union with them, or submission to a govern 
ment without limitation of powers. Between these 
two evils, when we must make a choice, there can be 
no hesitation. But in the meanwhile, the States 
should be watchful to note every material usurpation 
on their rights; to denounce them as they occur in 
the most peremptory terms ; to protest against them 
as wrongs to which our present submission shall be 
considered, not as acknowledgments or precedents 
of right, but as a temporary yielding to the lesser 
evil, until their accumulation shall overweigh that 
of separation. I would go still further, and give to 
the federal member, by a regular amendment of the 
constitution, a right to make roads and canals of 
intercommunication between the States, providing 
sufficiently against corrupt practices in Congress, 
(log-rolling, &c.,) by declaring that the federal pro 
portion of each State of the moneys so employed, 
shall be in works within the State, or elsewhere with 
its consent, and with a due salvo of jurisdiction. 
This is the course which I think safest and best as 

You ask my opinion of the propriety of giving 
publicity to what is stated in your letter, as having 
passed between Mr. John Q. Adams and yourself. 
Of this no one can judge but yourself. It is one of 
those questions which belong to the forum of feel 
ing. This alone can decide on the degree of confid 
ence implied in the disclosure; whether under no 

1825] Thomas Jefferson 4 2 7 

circumstances it was to be communicated to others ? 
It does not seem to be of that character, or at all to 
wear that aspect. They are historical facts which 
belong to the present, as well as future times. I 
doubt whether a single fact, known to the world, 
will carry as clear conviction to it, of the correctness 
of our knowledge of the treasonable views of the 
federal party of that day, as that disclosed by this r 
the most nefarious and daring attempt to dissever 
the Union, of which the Hartford convention was a 
subsequent chapter; and both of these having 
failed, consolidation becomes the fourth chapter of 
the next book of their history. But this opens with 
a vast accession of strength from their younger re 
cruits, who, having nothing in them of the feelings 
or principles of 76, now look to a single and splendid 
government of an aristocracy, founded on banking 
institutions, and moneyed incorporations under the 
guise and cloak of their favored branches of manu 
factures, commerce and navigation, riding and 
ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared 
yeomanry. This will be to them a next best bless 
ing to the monarchy of their first aim, and perhaps 
the surest stepping-stone to it. 

I learn with great satisfaction that your school is 
thriving well, and that you have at its head a truly 
classical scholar. He is one of three or four whom 
I can hear of in the State. We were obliged the last 
year to receive shameful Latinists into the classical 
school of the University, such as we will certainly 
refuse as soon as we can get from better schools a 
sufficiency of those properly instructed to form a 

428 The Writings of [1825 

class. We must get rid of this Connecticut Latin, 
of this barbarous confusion of long and short syl 
lables, which renders doubtful whether we are 
listening to a reader of Cherokee, Shawnee, Iroquois, 
or what. Our University has been most fortunate 
in the five professors procured from England. A 
finer selection could not have been made. Besides 
their being of a grade of science which has left little 
superior behind, the correctness of their moral 
character, their accommodating dispositions, and 
zeal for the prosperity of the institution, leave us 
nothing more to wish. I verily believe that as high 
a degree of education can now be obtained here, as 
in the country they left. And a finer set of youths 
I never saw assembled for instruction. They com 
mitted some irregularities at first, until they learned 
the lawful length of their tether; since which it has 
never been transgressed in the smallest degree. A 
great proportion of them are severely devoted to 
study, and I fear not to say that within twelve or 
fifteen years from this time, a majority of the rulers 
of our State will have been educated here. They 
shall carry hence the correct principles of our day, 
and you may count assuredly that they will exhibit 
their country in a degree of sound respectability it 
has never known, either in our days, or those of our 
forefathers. I cannot live to see it. My joy must 
only be that of anticipation. But that you may 
see it in full fruition, is the probable consequence 
of the twenty years I am ahead of you in time, and 
is the sincere prayer of your affectionate and con 
stant friend. 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 4 2 9 


MONTO. Jan. i, 26. 

DEAR SIR, I cannot blame you, if you have been 
thinking hardly of my long delay in answering your 
favor of the loth ult. But knowing the state of my 
health these thoughts will vanish from your mind. 
It is now 3. weeks since a re-ascerbation of my 
painful complaint has confined me to the house and 
indeed to my couch. Required to be constantly 
recumbent I wrote slowly and with difficulty. 
Yesterday for the ist time I was able to leave the 
house and to resume a posture which enables me to 
begin to answer the letters which have been ac 
cumulating, and I take up yours first. Weakened 
in body by infirmities and in mind by age, now far 
gone in my 83d year, reading one newspaper only 
and forgetting immediately what I read in that, I 
am unable to give counsel in cases of difficulty, and 
our present one is truly a case of difficulty. It is 
but too evident that the branches of our foreign 
department of govmt. Exve, judiciary and legisla 
tive are in combination to usurp the powers of the 
domestic branch also reserved to the states and 
consolidate themselves into a single govmt without 
limitn of powers. I will not trouble you with de 
tails of the instances which are threadbare and un 
heeded. The only question is what is to be done? 
Shall we give up the ship? No, by heavens, while 
a hand remains able to keep the deck. Shall we 
with the hot-headed Georgian, stand at once to our 
arms ? Not yet, nor until the evil, the only greater 
one than separn, shall be all but upon us, that of 

430 The Writings of [1826 

living under a government of discretion. Between 
these alternatives there can be no hesitation. But 
again, what are we to do? I am glad I did not 
answer earlier, for a fortnight ago might have called 
for a different answer. Since that the S. C. resolu 
tions are become known. Van Buren s motion and 
Baylie s proposn to yield the power of roads and 
canals, provided it be regularly by an amdmt of the 
constn and guarded against abusive practices under 
it. We had better at present rest awhile on our 
oars and see which way the tide will set, in Congress 
and in the state legislatures. Perhaps it will be 
better for Virginia to follow than take the lead in 
whatever is to be done. A Majority of the people 
are against us on this question. The Western 
states have especially been bribed by local con- 
sidns to abandon their antient brethren and enlist 
under banners alien to them in principles & interest. 
If in this state of things we can make such a com 
promise as Baylie proposes, we shall save and at the 
same time improve our constn, for I think that with 
suffict guards it will be a wholesome amdmt. And 
not doubting but that it comes from the president 
himself we may hope it s success under such auspices. 
If I had an opn therefore it would be for lying still 
awhile. But I have none. I have neither matter 
nor mind to form one. And I pray that what I 
have now hazarded to you as a friend may be 
sacredly locked up in your own breast. For aban 
doning, as it is time, to the genern now on the stage, 
the entire management of their own affairs, I should 
deem it the greatest of all calamities to be implicated, 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 431 

at this period of life in embroilment of which I wish 
never to think again. Yesterday the last of the 
year closed the 6ist of my continued services to the 
public. I came into it as soon as of age which was 
in 1764. beginning with the court of my county, 
then their Representative [illegible] Governor, Con 
gress, M.P. Secy of State V. President Presid. 


MONTICELLO Jan. 2 26. 

DEAR SIR, I now return you Ritchie s letter and 
your answer. I have read the last with entire ap 
probation and adoption of it s views. When my 
paper was written all was gloom, and the question 
of roads and canals was thought desperate at 
Washington after the President s message. Since 
that however have appeared the S. C. resolns, Van 
Buren s motion, and above all Baylie s proposn of 
Amdmt, believed to come from the President him 
self, who may have motives for it. After these, 
before we can see their issue my proposn would 
certainly be premature. I think with you too that 
any measures of opposition would come with more 
hope from any other state than from Virginia, and 
S. C. N. Y. and Massachusetts being willing to take 
the lead, we had better follow. I have therefore 
suppressed my paper, and recommend to Gordon 
to do nothing until we see the course Bailey s 
proposn will take, which I think a desirable one in 

43 2 The Writings of [1826 

I have been quite anxious to get a good drawing 
master in the Military or landscape line for the 
University. It is a branch of male educn most 
highly & justly valued on the continent of Europe. 
One most highly recommended as a landscape 
painter and as a personal character offered himself 
under a mistaken expectn as to the emoluments. 
I authorized Dr. Emmet to speak with him on the 
subject, and inclose you his letter. Rembrandt 
Peale, whose opinion I asked is as high in his praise 
as Emmet. I fear his present birth is too good to 
leave it for ours under it s present uncertainties. 
His predilection to come to us might have some 
weight. Whether the offer to pay the expenses of 
his removal might be sufficient for him and ap- 
provable by us is a question. There is a more advan 
tageous offer we might make him. You know we 
have 2. pavilions not yet occupied, nor likely soon 
to be so. A rent of 8. p. c. would be 600 D. a year. 
We could let him have the occupn gratis until an 
addition to our Professors might call for a resump 
tion of it. I shall suggest this offer to Emmet but 
to avoid all engagement till the sanction of the 
Visitors should be obtained. Be so good as to 
return me the letter. Ever & affectly yours. 


MONTICELLO, Jan. 8, 26. 

DEAR SIR, I have for sometime entertained the 
hope that your affairs being once wound up, your 

1 From the original in the possession of Archibald Gary Ooolidge. 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 433 

mind would cease to look back on them, and resume 
the calm so necessary to your own happiness, and 
that of your family and friends; and especially 
that you would return again to their society. I 
hope there remains no reason now to delay this 
longer, and that you will rejoin our table and fireside 
as heretofore. It is now that the value of education 
will prove itself to you, in the resource to books of 
which it has qualified you to avail yourself, and 
which, aided by the conversation and endearments 
of your family, and every comfort which this place 
can be made to afford you, will I hope, ensure to 
you future ease and happiness. Be assured that 
to no one will your society be more welcome than 
to myself, and that my affectionate friendship to 
you and respect, remain constant & sincere. 1 

1 The following is a note in lead pencil appended to the foregoing 
letter, in the handwriting of Mr. Randolph, but without signature: 

"I never slept a night from Monticello while my wife was there. 
But I left it early & returned after dark. After my misfortune I 
wished to avoid the supercilious looks of Mr. Jefferson s various 
guests. I still had the house in which I had so long kept my books 
& papers. Thither I went at an early hour every day & constantly 
returned when I could cross the river or the rains were not too heavy 
to brave." 

Again Jefferson wrote to his son-in-law : 

"Let me beseech you, dear sir, to return and become again a mem 
ber of the family. I have ever wished you to consider yourself at 
home here, and to command, bring your friends, and act in all respects 
as you would in your own house. We are all distressed at your with 
drawing from us. Your family doubtless have felt their participa 
tion in your misfortunes. This is natural. But in these there is 
nothing extraordinary. But your separation is a grief of a more 
distressing kind. From this you can relieve us all, and better pro 
mote your own happiness by returning to the bosom of those who 
love and respect you, rather than to continue in solitude, brooding 
over your misfortunes, & encouraging their ravages on your mind, 

VOL. XII. 28. 

434 The Writings of [1826 


MONTICELLO Jan. 18, 26. 

DEAR SIR, Yours of the i ith is received. Those 
of Nov. 2. and Dec. 14. had been so in due time. I 
suppose I had not acknoleged them specifically 
from being perhaps too lazy to recur to them while 
writing mine of the I thank you for your in 

formation from Mr. Boyce and shall desire the in 
struments to remain in their present position until 
I can find a safe and gentle conveyance and give an 
order for them. The Russian discourse was duly 
received and was read with the feelings it would 
naturally excite in the breast of a friend to the 
Rights of man. On the subject of emancipation I 
have ceased to think because not to be a work of 
my day. The plan of converting the blacks into 
Serfs would certainly be better than keeping them 
in their present condition, but I consider that of 
expatriation to the governments of the W. I. of their 
own colour as entirely practicable, and greatly pre 
ferable to the mixture of colour here. To this I 
have great aversion; but I repeat my abandonment 
of the subject. My health is at present as good as 
I ever expect it to be, and I am ever and affection 
ately yours. 

and on the happiness of your life. Neither your family, nor yourself 
can be without any comforts while I have anything, and all I ask is 
that you will be assured of this, as well as of my affectionate friendship 
& respect." 

Randolph penciled on this letter : 

"I never passed a night from Monticello unless from heavy rain in 
the evening or the river being too high to cross. Tho. M. R." 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 435 


February, 1826. 

It is a common idea that games of chance are 
immoral. But what is chance? Nothing happens 
in this world without a cause. If we know the 
cause, we do not call it chance; but if we do not 
know it, we say it was produced by chance. If we 
see a loaded die turn its lightest side up, we know 
the cause, and that it is not an effect of chance ; but 
whatever side an unloaded die turns up, not know 
ing the cause, we say it is the effect of chance. Yet 
the morality of a thing cannot depend on our 
knowledge or ignorance of its cause. Not knowing 
why a particular side of an unloaded die turns up, 
cannot make the act of throwing it, or of betting on 
it, immoral. If we consider games of chance im 
moral, then every pursuit of human industry is 
immoral; for there is not a single one that is not 
subject to chance, not one wherein you do not risk 
a loss for the chance of some gain. The navigator, 
for example, risks his ship in the hope (if she is not 
lost in the voyage) of gaining an advantageous 
freight. The merchant risks his cargo to gain a 
better price for it. A landholder builds a house on 
the risk of indemnifying himself by a rent. The 
hunter hazards his time and trouble in the hope of 
killing game. In all these pursuits, you stake some 
one thing against another which you hope to win. 
But the greatest of all gamblers is the farmer. He 
risks the seed he puts into the ground, the rent he 
pays for the ground itself, the year s labor on it, and 
the wear and tear of his cattle and gear, to win a 

43 6 The Writings of [1826 

crop, which the chances of too much or too little 
rain, and general uncertainties of weather, insects, 
waste, &c., often make a total or partial loss. These, 
then, are games of chance. Yet so far from being 
immoral, they are indispensable to the existence of 
man, and every one has a natural right to choose for 
his pursuit such one of them as he thinks most likely 
to furnish him subsistence. Almost all these pursuits 
of chance produce something useful to society. 
But there are some which produce nothing, and en 
danger the well-being of the individuals engaged 
in them, or of others depending on them. Such 
are games with cards, dice, billiards, &c. And al 
though the pursuit of them is a matter of natural 
right, yet society, perceiving the irresistible bent of 
some of its members to pursue them, and the ruin 
produced by them to the families depending on 
these individuals, consider it as a case of insanity, 
quoad hoc, step in to protect the family and the 
party himself, as in other cases of insanity, infancy, 
imbecility, &c., and suppress the pursuit altogether, 
and the natural right of following it. There are 
some other games of chance, useful on certain oc 
casions, and injurious only when carried beyond 
their useful bounds. Such are insurances, lotteries, 
raffles, &c. These they do not suppress, but take 
their regulation under their own discretion. The in 
surance of ships on voyages is a vocation of chance, 
yet useful, and the right to exercise it therefore is 
left free. So of houses against fire, doubtful debts, 
the continuance of a particular life, and similar 
cases. Money is wanting for a useful undertaking, 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 437 

as a school, &c., for which a direct tax would be 
disapproved. It is raised therefore by a lottery, 
wherein the tax is laid on the willing only, that is 
to say, on those who can risk the price of a ticket 
without sensible injury for the possibility of a 
higher prize. An article of property, insusceptible 
of division at all, or not without great diminution 
of its worth, is sometimes of so large value as that 
no purchaser can be found while the owner owes 
debts, has no other means of payment, and his 
creditors no other chance of obtaining it but by its 
sale at a full and fair price. The lottery is here a 
salutary instrument for disposing of it, where many 
run small risks for the chance of obtaining a high 
prize. In this way the great estate of the late 
Colonel Byrd (in 1756) was made competent to pay 
his debts, which, had the whole been brought into 
the market at once, would have overdone the de 
mand, would have sold at half or quarter the value, 
and sacrificed the creditors, half or three-fourths of 
whom would have lost their debts. This method 
of selling was formerly very much resorted to, until 
it was thought to nourish too much a spirit of 
hazard. The legislature were therefore induced not 
to suppress it altogether, but to take it under their 
own special regulation. This they did for the first 
time by their act of 1769, c. 17, before which time 
every person exercised the right freely; and since 
which time, it is made unlawful but when approved 
and authorized by a special act of the legislature. 

Since then this right of sale, by way of lottery, has 
been exercised only under the jurisdiction of the 

438 The Writings of [1826 

legislature. Let us examine the purposes for which 
they have allowed it in practice, not looking beyond 
the date of our independence. 

1. It was for a long time an item of the standing 
revenue of the State. 

1813. c. i, 3. An act imposing taxes for the sup 

port of government, and c. 2, 


1814. Dec. c. i, 3. 1814. Feb. c. i, 3. 1818. c. 

i i. 
1819. c. i. 1820. c. i. 

This, then, is a declaration by the nation, that an 
act was not immoral, of which they were in the 
habitual use themselves as a part of the regular 
means of supporting the government ; the tax on the 
vender of tickets was their share of the profits, and 
if their share was innocent, his could not be criminal. 

2. It has been abundantly permitted to raise 
money by lottery for the purposes of schools; and 
in this, as in many other cases, the lottery has been 
permitted to retain a part of the money (generally 
from ten to fifteen per cent.) for the use to which the 
lottery has been applied. So that while the adven 
turers paid one hundred dollars for tickets, they 
received back eighty -five or ninety dollars only in 
the form of prizes, the remaining ten or fifteen being 
the tax levied on them, with their own consent. 
Examples are, 

1784. c. 34. Authorizing the city of Williamsburg 
to raise 2,000 for a grammar school. 
1789. c. 68. For Randolph Academy, ^1,000. 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 439 

1789. c. 73. For Fauquier Academy, 500. 

c. 74. For the Fredericksburg Academy, 

1790. c. 46. For the Transylvanian Seminary, 500. 

For the Southampton Academy, 300. 
1796. c. 82. For the New London Academy. 

1803. c. 49. For the Fredericksburg Charity 


c. 50. For finishing the Strasbury Sem 

c. 58. For William and Mary College. 

c. 62. For the Bannister Academy. 

c. 79. For the Belfield Academy. 

c. 82. For the Petersburg Academy. 

1804. c. 40. For the Hotsprings Seminary, 
c. 76. For the Stevensburg Academy. 
c. 100. For William and Mary College. 

1805. c. 24. For the Rumford Academy. 

1812. c. 10. For the Literary Fund. To sell the 
privilege for $30,000 annually, for 
seven years. 
1816. c. 80. For Norfolk Academy, $12,000. 

Norfolk Female Society, $2,000. 
Lancastrian School, $6,000. 
3. The next object of lotteries has been rivers. 
1790. c. 46. For a bridge between Gosport and 

Portsmouth, 400. 
1796. c. 83. For clearing Roanoke River. 

1804. c. 62. For clearing Quantico Creek. 

1805. c. 42. For a toll bridge over Cheat River. 
1816. c. 49. For the Dismal Swamp, $50,000. 

T The acts not being at hand, the sums allowed are not known. T. J. 

440 The Writings of [1826 

4. For Roads. 

1790. c. 46. For a road to Warminster, 200. 

For cutting a road from Rockfish gap 
to Scott s and Nicholas s landing, 

1796. c. 85. To repair certain roads. 
1803. c. 60. For improving roads to Snigger s and 

Ashby s gaps. 

c. 6 1. For opening a road to Brock s gap. 
c. 65. For opening a road from the town of 
Monroe to Sweet Springs and Lewis- 

c. 71. For improving the road to Brock s gap. 

1805. c. 5. For improving the road to Clarksburg. 

c. 26. For opening a road from Monongalia 

Glades to Fishing Creek. 

1813. c. 44. For opening a road from Thornton s 

5. Lotteries for the benefit of counties. 

1796. c. 78. To authorize a lottery in the county 

of Shenandoah. 

c. 84. To authorize a lottery in the county 
of Gloucester. 

6. Lotteries for the benefit of towns. 

1782. c. 31. Richmond, for a bridge over Shockoe, 
amount not limited. 

1789. c. 75. Alexandria, to pave its streets, 1,500. 

1790. c. 46. do. do. 5,000. 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 441 

1796. c. 79. Norfolk, one or more lotteries author 

c. 81. Petersburg, a lottery authorized. 
1803. c. 12. Woodstock, do. 

c. 48. Fredericksburg, for improving its main 

c. 73. Harrisonburg, for improving its streets. 

7. Lotteries for religious congregations. 

1785. c. in. Completing a church in Winchester. 

For rebuilding a church in the parish 

of Elizabeth River. 

1791. c. 69 . For the benefit of the Episcopal society. 
1790. c. 46. For building a church in Warminster, 


in Halifax, 200. 

in Alexandria, 500. 

in Petersburg, 750. 

in Shepherdstown, 250. 

8. Lotteries for private societies. 

1790. c. 46. For the Amicable Society in Rich 

mond, 1,000. 

1791. c. 70. For building a Freemason s Hall in 

Charlotte, 750. 

9. Lotteries for the benefit of private individuals. 
[To raise money for them.] 

1796. c. 80. For the sufferers by fire in the town 

of Lexington. 
1781. c. 6. For completing titles under Byrd s 


44 2 The Writings of [1826 

1790.0. 46. To erect a paper mill in Staunton, 300. 
To raise 2,000 for Nathaniel Twining. 
1791. c. 73. To raise 4,000 for William Tatham, 
to enable him to complete his geo 
graphical work. 

To enable - - to complete a literary 
work. 1 

We have seen, then, that every vocation in life is 
subject to the influence of chance; that so far from 
being rendered immoral by the admixture of that 
ingredient, were they abandoned on that account, 
man could no longer subsist; that, among them, 
every one has a natural right to choose that which 
he thinks most likely to give him comfortable sub 
sistence ; but that while the greater number of these 
pursuits are productive of something which adds to 
the necessaries and comforts of life, others again, 
such as cards, dice, &c., are entirely unproductive, 
doing good to none, injury to many, yet so easy, and 
so seducing in practice to men of a certain constitu 
tion of mind, that they cannot resist the temptation, 
be the consequences what they may; that in this 
case, as in those of insanity, idiocy, infancy, &c., it 
is the duty of society to take them under its pro 
tection, even against their own acts, and to restrain 
their right of choice of these pursuits, by suppressing 
them entirely; that there are others, as lotteries 
particularly, which, although liable to chance also, 
are useful for many purposes, and are therefore 

1 I found such an act, but not noting it at the time, I have not been 
able to find it again. But there is such an one. T. J. 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 443 

retained and placed under the discretion of the Legis 
lature, to be permitted or refused according to the 
circumstances of every special case, of which they 
are to judge; that between the years 1782 and 1820, 
a space of thirty -eight years only, we have observed 
seventy cases, where the permission of them has 
been found useful by the Legislature, some of which 
are in progress at this time. These cases relate to 
the emolument of the whole State, to local benefits 
of education, of navigation, of roads, of counties, 
towns, religious assemblies, private societies, and of 
individuals under particular circumstances which 
may claim indulgence or favor. The latter is the 
case now submitted to the Legislature, and the 
question is, whether the individual soliciting their 
attention, or his situation, may merit that degree 
of consideration which will justify the Legislature 
in permitting him to avail himself of the mode of 
selling by lottery, for the purpose of paying his 

That a fair price cannot be obtained by sale in 
the ordinary way, and in the present depressed state 
of agricultural industry, is well known. Lands in 
this State will not now sell for more than a third or 
fourth of what they would have brought a few years 
ago, perhaps at the very time of the contraction of 
the debts for which they are now to be sold. The 
low price in foreign markets, for a series of years 
past, of agricultural produce, of wheat generally,, 
of tobacco most commonly, and the accumulation 
of duties on the articles of consumption not produced 
within our State, not only disable the farmer or 

444 The Writings of [1826 

planter from adding to his farm by purchase, but 
reduces him to sell his own, and remove to the 
western country, glutting the market he leaves, 
while he lessens the number of bidders. To be pro 
tected against this sacrifice is the object of the 
present application, and whether the applicant has 
any particular claim to this protection, is the present 

Here the answer must be left to others. It is not 
for me to give it. I may, however, more readily 
than others, suggest the offices in which I have 
served. I came of age in 1 764, and was soon put into 
the nomination of justice of the county in which I 
live, and at the first election following I became one 
of its representatives in the Legislature. 

I was thence sent to the old Congress. 

Then employed two years with Mr. Pendleton 
and Mr. Wythe on the revisal and reduction to a 
single code of the whole body of the British statutes, 
the acts of our Assembly, and certain parts of the 
common law. 

Then elected Governor. 

Next to the Legislature, and to Congress again. 

Sent to Europe as Minister Plenipotentiary. 

Appointed Secretary of State to the new govern 

Elected Vice-President, and 


And lastly, a Visitor and Rector of the University. 

In these different offices, with scarcely any in 
terval between them, I have been in the public 
service now sixty -one years; and during the far 

1 826] Thomas Jefferson 445 

greater part of the time, in foreign countries or in 
other States. Every one knows how inevitably a 
Virginia estate goes to ruin, when the owner is so 
far distant as to be unable to pay attention to it 
himself; and the more especially, when the line of 
his employment is of a character to abstract and 
alienate his mind entirely from the knowledge neces 
sary to good, and even to saving management. 

If it were thought worth while to specify any 
particular services rendered, I would refer to the 
specification of them made by the Legislature itself 
in their Farewell Address, on my retiring from the 
Presidency, February, 1809. [This will be found in 
2 Pleasant s Collection, page 144.] There is one, 
however, not therein specified, the most important 
in its consequences, of any transaction in any por 
tion of my life ; to wit, the head I personally made 
against the federal principles and proceedings, dur 
ing the administration of Mr. Adams. Their usurpa 
tions and violations of the constitution at that 
period, and their majority in both Houses of Con 
gress, were so great, so decided, and so daring, that 
after combating their aggressions, inch by inch, 
without being able in the least to check their career, 
the republican leaders thought it would be best for 
them to give up their useless efforts there, go home, 
get into their respective Legislatures, embody what 
ever of resistance they could be formed into, and if 
ineffectual, to perish there as in the last ditch. All, 
therefore, retired, leaving Mr. Gallatin alone in the 
House of Representatives, and myself in the Senate, 
where I then presided as Vice-President. Remaining 

44 6 The Writings of [1826 

at our posts, and bidding defiance to the brow 
beatings and insults by which they endeavored to 
drive us off also, we kept the mass of republicans in 
phalanx together, until the Legislatures could be 
brought up to the charge; and nothing on earth is 
more certain, than that if myself particularly, placed 
by my office of Vice-President at the head of the 
republicans, had given way and withdrawn from my 
post, the republicans throughout the Union would 
have given up in despair, and the cause would have 
been lost forever. By holding on, we obtained time 
for the Legislatures to come up with their weight; 
and those of Virginia and Kentucky particularly, 
but more especially the former, by their celebrated 
resolutions, saved the constitution at its last gasp. 
No person who was not a witness of the scenes of that 
gloomy period, can form any idea of the afflicting 
persecutions and personal indignities we had to 
brook. They saved our country however. The 
spirits of the people were so much subdued and re 
duced to despair by the X Y Z imposture, and other 
stratagems and machinations, that they would have 
sunk into apathy and monarchy, as the only form 
of government which could maintain itself. 

If Legislative services are worth mentioning, and 
the stamp of liberality and equality, which was 
necessary to be imposed on our laws in the first 
crisis of our birth as a nation, was of any value, they 
will find that the leading and most important laws 
of that day were prepared by myself, and carried 
chiefly by my efforts; supported, indeed, by able 
and faithful coadjutors from the ranks of the House, 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 447 

very effective as seconds, but who would not have 
taken the field as leaders. 

The prohibition of the further importation of 
slaves was the first of these measures in time. 

This was followed by the abolition of entails, which 
broke up the hereditary and high-handed aristocracy, 
which, by accumulating immense masses of property 
in single lines of families, had divided our country 
into two distinct orders, of nobles and plebeians. 

But further to complete the equality among our 
citizens so essential to the maintenance of republican 
government, it was necessary to abolish the prin 
ciple of primogeniture. I drew the law of descents, 
giving equal inheritance to sons and daughters, 
which made a part of the revised code. 

The attack on the establishment of a dominant 
religion, was first made by myself. It could be 
carried at first only by a suspension of salaries for one 
year, by battling it again at the next session for 
another year, and so from year to year, until the 
public mind was ripened for the bill for establishing 
religious freedom, which I had prepared for the 
revised code also. This was at length established 
permanently, and by the efforts chiefly of Mr. 
Madison, being myself in Europe at the time that 
work was brought forward. 

To these particular services, I think I might add 
the establishment of our University, as principally 
my work, acknowledging at the same time, as I do, 
the great assistance received from my able colleagues 
of the Visitation. But my residence in the vicinity 
threw, of course, on me the chief burthen of the 

448 The Writings of [1826 

enterprise, as well of the buildings as of the general 
organization and care of the whole. The effect of 
this institution on the future fame, fortune and 
prosperity of our country, can as yet be seen but at 
a distance. But an hundred well-educated youths, 
which it will turn out annually, and ere long, will 
fill all its offices with men of superior qualifications, 
and raise it from its humble state to an eminence 
among its associates which it has never yet known; 
no, not in its brightest days. That institution is 
now qualified to raise its youth to an order of science 
unequalled in any other State; and this superiority 
will be the greater from the free range of mind en 
couraged there, and the restraint imposed at other 
seminaries by the shackles of a domineering hier 
archy, and a bigoted adhesion to ancient habits. 
Those now on the theatre of affairs will enjoy the 
ineffable happiness of seeing themselves succeeded 
by sons of a grade of science beyond their own ken. 
Our sister States will also be repairing to the same 
fountains of instruction, will bring hither their 
genius to be kindled at our fire, and will carry back 
the fraternal affections which, nourished by the 
same alma mater, will knit us to them by the in 
dissoluble bonds of early personal friendships. The 
good Old Dominion, the blessed mother of us all, 
will then raise her head with pride among the nations, 
will present to them that splendor of genius which 
she has ever possessed, but has too long suffered to 
rest uncultivated and unknown, and will become a 
centre of ralliance to the States whose youth she has 
instructed, and, as it were, adopted. 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 449 

I claim some share in the merits of this great 
work of regeneration. My whole labors, now for 
many years, have been devoted to it, and I stand 
pledged to follow it up through the remnant of life 
remaining to me. And what remuneration do I 
ask? Money from the treasury? Not a cent. f \I 
ask nothing from the earnings or labors of my fellow 
citizens. I wish no man s comforts to be abridged 
for the enlargement of mine. For the services 
rendered on all occasions, I have been always paid 
to my full satisfaction. I never wished a dollar 
more than what the law had fixed on. My request 
is, only to be permitted to sell my own property 
freely to pay my own debts. To sell it, I say, and 
not to sacrifice it, not to have it gobbled up by 
speculators to make fortunes for themselves, leaving 
unpaid those who have trusted to my good faith, 
and myself without resource in the last and most 
helpless stage of life. If permitted to sell it in a way 
which will bring me a fair price, all will be honestly 
and honorably paid, and a competence left for 
myself, and for those who look to me for subsistence. 
To sell it in a way which will offend no moral prin 
ciple, and expose none to risk but the willing, and 
those wishing to be permitted to take the chance 
of gain. To give me, in short, that permission which 
you often allow to others for purposes not more 

Will it be objected, that although not evil in itself, 
it may as a precedent, lead to evil? But let those 
who shall quote the precedent, bring their case 
within the same measure. Have they, as in this 

VOL. XII. 2Q. 

450 The Writings of [1826 

case, devoted three-score years and one of their 
lives, uninterruptedly, to the service of their coun 
try ? Have the times of those services been as trying 
as those which have embraced our Revolution, our 
transition from a colonial to a free structure of 
government? Have the stations of their trial been 
of equal importance? Has the share they have 
borne in holding their new government to its genuine 
principles, been equally marked? And has the 
cause of the distress, against which they seek a 
remedy, proceeded, not merely from themselves, but 
from errors of the public authorities, disordering the 
circulating medium, over which they had no con 
trol, and which have, in fact, doubled and trebled 
debts, by reducing, in that proportion, the value of 
the property which was to pay them? If all these 
circumstances, which characterize the present case, 
have taken place in theirs also, then follow the pre 
cedent. Be assured, the cases will be so rare as to 
produce no embarrassment, as never to settle into 
an injurious habit. The single feature of a sixty 
years service, as no other instance of it has yet 
occurred in our country, so it probably never may 
again. And should it occur, even once and again, 
it will not impoverish your treasury, as it takes 
nothing from that, and asks but a simple permission, 
by an act of natural right, to do one of moral justice. 


MONTICELLO Feb. 7. 26. 

DEAR SIR, I reed yesterday your kind letter of 
the 2d and am truly sensible of the interest you are 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 451 

so good as to take in my affairs. I had hoped the 
length and character of my services might have 
prevented the fear in the legislature of the indul 
gence asked being quoted as a precedent in future 
cases, but I find no fault with their strict adherence 
to a rule generally useful, altho relaxable in some 
cases under their discretion, of which they are the 
proper judges. If it can be yielded in my case, I 
can save the house of Monticello and a farm ad 
joining to end my days in and bury my bones. If 
not I must sell house and all here and carry my 
family to Bedford where I have not even a log hut 
to put my head into. In any case I wish nothing 
from the treasury. The pecuniary compensns I 
have reed for my services from time to time have 
been fully to my own satisfn. 

I have been very much mortified by the publicn in 
the Enquirer of the 4th of two letters from some 
person called an American citizen who seems to 
have visited Mr. Madison & myself and has under 
taken to state private conversns with us. In one 
of these he makes me declare that I had intention 
ally proceeded in a course of dupery of our legisla 
ture, teasing them as he makes me say for 6. or 7. 
sessions for successive aids to the Univty. and ask 
ing a part only at a time & intentionally concealing 
the ultimate cost; and gives an inexact statement 
of a story of Obrian. Now our annual reports will 
shew that we constantly gave full and candid ac 
counts of the money expended, and statements of 
what might still be wanting founded on the Proc 
tor s estimates. No man ever heard me speak of 

45 2 The Writings of [1826 

the grants of the legislre but with acknolegements 
of their liberality, which I have always declared had 
gone far beyond what I could have expected in the 
beginning. Yet the letter writer has given to my 
expressions an aspect disrespectful of the legislre and 
calculated to give them offence, which I do abso 
lutely disavow. The writer is called an American 
citizen. It is evident, if he be so, that he is an 
adopted one only who after calling on us in his 
travels thro the country as a stranger may have 
obtained naturalisation and settled in Phila. where 
he is enjoying the society of the Buonapartes &c. 
The familiar style of his letter to his friend in Eng 
land and the communicn of it to the literary gazette 
there indicates sufficiently his foreign birth and con 
nections. I cannot express to you the pain which 
this unfaithful version and betrayment of private 
conversn has given me. I feel that it will add to 
the disfavor I had incurred with a large portion of 
the legislature by my strenuous labours for the 
establmt of the University to which they were op 
posed insomuch as to let it overweigh whatever 
of satisfactn former services had given them. I 
have been long sensible that while I was endeavoring 
to render to our country the greatest of all services, 
that of regenerating the public education, and 
placing our rising genern on the level of our sister 
states (which they have proudly held heretofore) I 
was discharging the odious function of a Physician 
pouring medicine down the throat of a patient, in 
sensible of needing it. I am so sure of the future 
approbn of posterity and of the inestimable effect 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 453 

we shall have produced in the educn of our country 
by what we have done as that I cannot repent of 
the part I have borne in coopern with my colleagues. 
I disclaim the honors which this writer (among the 
other errors he had interlarded with the truths of 
his letters) has ascribed to me of having made the 
liberal donations of timber & stone from my own 
estate and of having paid all the contracts for 
materials myself, and I restore them to their true 
source the liberal legislators of our country. My pain 
at these false praises and representations should 
merit with them an acquittal of any supposed ap- 
probn of them by myself. Ever & affectly yours. 


MONTICELLO Feb. 8. 26 

MY DEAR JEFFERSON, I duly reed, your affec 
tionate letter of the 3d and perceive there are 
greater doubts than I had apprehended whether the 
legislre will indulge me in my request to them. It 
is a part of my mortifn to perceive that I had so far 
overvalued myself as to have counted on it with too 
much confidence. I see in the failure of this hope 
a deadly blast of all peace of mind during my re 
maining days. You kindly encourage me to keep 
up my spirits. But oppressed with disease, de 
bility, age, and embarrassed affairs, this is difficult. 
For myself I should not regard a prostration of 
fortune, but I am overwhelmed at the prospect of 
the situation in which I may leave my family. My 

1 From the original in the possession of Archibald Gary Coolidge. 

454 The Writings of [1826 

dear & beloved daughter, the cherished companion 
of my early life and nurse of my age, and her children, 
rendered as dear to me as if my own from having 
lived with them from their cradle, left in a comfort 
less situation, hold up to me nothing but future 
gloom, and I should not care were life to end with 
the line I am writing, were it not that in the un 
happy state of mind which your father s misfor 
tunes have brought upon him I may yet be of some 
avail to the family. Their affectionate devotion to 
me makes a willingness to endure life a duty as long 
as it can be of any use to them. Yourself par 
ticularly, dear Jefferson, I consider as the greatest 
of the Godsends which heaven has granted me. 
Without you what could I do under the difficulties 
now environing me. This has been produced in 
some degree by my unskilful management and 
devoting my life to the service of my country, but 
much also by the unfortunate fluctuations in the 
value of our money and the long continued de 
pression of the farming business. But for these 
last I am confident my debts might be paid leaving 
me Monticello and the Bedford estate. But where 
there are no bidders property however great offers 
no resource for the payment of debts. In the pay 
ment of debts all must go for little or nothing. 
Perhaps however even in this case I may have no 
right to complain, as these misfortunes have been 
held back for my last days when few remain to me. 
I duly acknolege that I have gone thro a long 
life with fewer circumstances of affliction than are 
the lot of most men. Uninterrupted health, a 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 455 

competence for every reasonable want, usefulness to 
my fellow citizens, a good portion of their esteem, 
no complaint against the world which has suffi 
ciently honored me, and above all a family which 
has blessed me by their affectn and never by their 
conduct given me a moment s pain ; and should this 
my last request be granted I may yet close with a 
cloudless sun a long and serene day of life. Be 
assured my dear Jefferson that I have a just sense 
of the part you have contributed to this, and that 
I bear to you unmeasured affection. 


MONTICELLO, February 17, 1826. 

DEAR SIR, * * * Immediately on seeing the 
overwhelming vote of the House of Representatives 
against giving us another dollar, I rode to the 
University and desired Mr. Brockenbrough to en 
gage in nothing new, to stop everything on hand 
which could be done without, and to employ all his 
force and funds in finishing the circular room for the 
books, and the anatomical theatre. These cannot 
be done without ; and for these and all our debts we 
have funds enough. But I think it prudent then to 
clear the decks thoroughly, to see how we shall stand, 
and what we may accomplish further. In the mean 
time, there have arrived for us in different ports of 
the United States, ten boxes of books from Paris, 
seven from London, and from Germany I know not 
how many; in all, perhaps, about twenty-five boxes. 
Not one of these can be opened until the book-room 

456 The Writings of [1826 

is completely finished, and all the shelves ready to 
receive their charge directly from the boxes as they 
shall be opened. This cannot be till May. I hear 
nothing definite of the three thousand dollars duty 
of which we are asking the remission from Congress. 
In the selection of our Law Professor, we must be 
rigorously attentive to his political principles. You 
will recollect that before the revolution, Coke Lit 
tleton was the universal elementary book of law 
students, and a sounder whig never wrote, nor of 
prof ounder learning in the orthodox doctrines of the 
British constitution, or in what were called English 
liberties. You remember also that our lawyers 
were then all whigs. But when his black-letter text, 
and uncouth but cunning learning got out of fashion, 
and the honied Mansfieldism of Blackstone became 
the student s hornbook, from that moment, that 
profession (the nursery of our Congress) began to 
slide into toryism, and nearly all the young brood 
of lawyers now are of that hue. They suppose 
themselves, indeed, to be whigs, because they no 
longer know what whigism or republicanism means. 
It is in our seminary that that vestal flame is to be 
kept alive; it is thence it is to spread anew over our 
own and the sister States. If we are true and 
vigilant in our trust, within a dozen or twenty years 
a majority of our own legislature will be from one 
school, and many disciples will have carried its 
doctrines home with them to their several States, 
and will have leavened thus the whole mass. New 
York has taken strong ground in vindication of the 
constitution; South Carolina had already done the 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 457 

same. Although I was against our leading, I am 
equally against omitting to follow in the same line, 
and backing them firmly; and I hope that yourself 
or some other will mark out the track to be pursued 
by us. 

You will have seen in the newspapers some pro 
ceedings in the legislature, which have cost me much 
mortification. My own debts had become consider 
able, but not beyond the effect of some lopping of 
property, which would have been little felt, when 
our friend Nicholas gave me the coup de grace. 
Ever since that I have been paying twelve hundred 
dollars a year interest on his debt, which, with my 
own, was absorbing so much of my annual income, 
as that the maintenance of my family was making 
deep and rapid inroads on my capital, and had al 
ready done it. Still, sales at a fair price would leave 
me competently provided. Had crops and prices 
for several years been such as to maintain a steady 
competition of substantial bidders at market, all 
would have been safe. But the long succession of 
years of stunted crops, of reduced prices, the general 
prostration of the farming business, under levies for 
the support of manufactures, &c., with the calam 
itous fluctuations of value in our paper medium, have 
kept agriculture in a state of abject depression, 
which has peopled the western States by silently 
breaking up those on the Atlantic, and glutted the 
land market, while it drew off its bidders. In such 
a state of things, property has lost its character of 
being a resource for debts. Highland in Bedford, 
which, in the days of our plethory, sold readily for 

45 8 The Writings of [1826 

from fifty to one hundred dollars the acre, (and such 
sales were many then,) would not now sell for more 
than from ten to twenty dollars, or one-quarter or 
one-fifth of its former price. Reflecting on these 
things, the practice occurred to me, of selling, on fair 
valuation, and by way of lottery, often resorted to 
before the Revolution to effect large sales, and still 
in constant usage in every State for individual as 
well as corporation purposes. If it is permitted in 
my case, my lands here alone, with the mills, &c., 
will pay every thing, and leave me Monticello and a 
farm free. If refused, I must sell everything here, 
perhaps considerably in Bedford, move thither with 
my family, where I have not even a log hut to put my 
head into, and whether ground for burial, will de 
pend on the depredations which, under the form of 
sales, shall have been committed on my property. 
The question then with me was ultrum horumf But 
why afflict you with these details? Indeed, I can 
not tell, unless pains are lessened by communication 
with a friend. The friendship which has subsisted 
between us, now half a century, and the harmony 
of our political principles and pursuits, have been 
sources of constant happiness to me through that 
long period. And if I remove beyond the reach of 
attentions to the University, or beyond the bourne 
of life itself, as I soon must, it is a comfort to leave 
that institution under your care, and an assurance 
that it will not be wanting. It has also been a great 
solace to me, to believe that you are engaged in vin 
dicating to posterity the course we have pursued for 
preserving to them, in all their purity, the blessings 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 459 

of self-government, which we had assisted too in 
acquiring for them. If ever the earth has beheld 
a system of administration conducted with a single 
and steadfast eye to the general interest and hap 
piness of those committed to it, one which, protected 
by truth, can never know reproach, it is that to 
which our lives have been devoted. To myself you 
have been a pillar of support through life. Take 
care of me when dead, and be assured that I shall 
leave with you my last affections. 


MONTICELLO Feb. 21. 26. 

How could you think, my dear friend, of appealing 
to me for materials for the history of N. Carolina? 
At the age of 83, scarcely able to walk from one 
room to another, rarely out of pain, and with both 
hands so crippled that to write a page is nearly the 
work of a day? I believe too that I never knew 
any thing about it, and if I did it is all forgotten. 
But I have observed that at whatever age, or in 
whatever form we have known a person of old so 
we believe him to continue indefinitely, unchanged 
by time or decay. I am glad however you did not 
reflect on this, because it has furnished occasion for 
a letter from you which I shall always receive with 
the welcome which antient & affectionate recol 
lections ever bring. I am particularly happy to 
perceive that you retain health and spirits still man 
fully to maintain our good old principle of cherishing 
and fortifying the rights and authorities of the 

460 The Writings of [1826 

people in opposition to those who fear them, who 
wish to take all power from them, and to transfer 
all to Washington. The latter may call themselves 
republicans if they please, but the school of Venice, 
and all of this principle I call at once tories. For 
consolidation is but toryism in disguise it s object 
being to withdraw their [illegible] as far as possible 
from the ken of the people. God bless you & pre 
serve you many and long years. 


MONTICELLO Feb. 22. 26. 

DEAR SIR, Your favor of the i3th was received 
yesterday. Your use of my letter with the alterns 
subsequently proposed, needs no apology. And it 
will be a gratifn to me if it can be of any service to 
you. I learn with sincere affliction the difficulties 
with which you have still to struggle. Mine are 
considble, but the single permission given me by 
the legislature of such a mode of sale as ensures a 
fair value for what I must sell, will leave me still a 
competent provision. If sold under the hammer it 
must have been for whatever the bidder would 
gratuitously offer. For such a piece of property 
for example as my mills there could not have been 
two bona fide bidders in the state. A Virginia 
estate managed rigorously well yields a comfortable 
subsistence to it s owner living on it, but nothing 
more. But it runs him in debt annually if at a! 
distance from him, if he is absent, if he is unskilful 
as I am, if short crops reduce him to deal on credit, 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 461 

and most assuredly if thunder struck from the hand 
of a friend as I was. Altho all these causes con 
spired against me, and should have put me on my 
guard I had no suspicions until my grandson under 
took the management of my estate and developed 
to me the state of my affairs, fortunately while yet 
retrievable in a comfortable degree. I hope you 
will still find yours so, and with sincere wishes that 
they may prove so to be. I salute you with con 
stant frdshp, and respect. 


MONTO. Feb. 22. 26. 

DEAR SIR, I have to acknolege the rect. of your 
favor of the i4th and still more especially to ac- 
knowlge the kindness with which you lent your aid 
to a late measure of extreme importance to me and 
to my family. The ist vote indeed was very ap 
palling, and made me fear I had made a very im 
proper proposition which could be rejected offhand 
by so great a proportion of the house. The practice 
of selling property by lottery had been so frequent 
before the revoln as to hide from us, by it s famil 
iarity what might be amiss in it if anything were so. 
The subsequent votes however relieved my appre 
hensions, and the zeal with which my friends 
espoused my case was a healing balm which would 
have soothed me under any issue in which it might 
have ended. Every owner of a Virginia estate, 
knows how prone they are to mismanagement and 
ruin, even when distant alone, how much more so 

462 The Writings of [1826 

when long & necessary absences of the master are 
added to distance, and still more when his line of 
life adds invincible ignorance to his intermissions of 
attention. These circumstances had thrown me 
into arrears when an overwhelming stroke fell on me 
from a friend. Still, had our land market remained 
in a healthy state every thing might have been paid 
and have left me competently provided. But the 
agricultural branch of industry with us had been 
so many years in a state of abject prostrn, that, 
combined with the calamitous fluctuations in the 
value of our circulating medium, those concerned 
in it instead of being in a condn to purchase were 
abandoning farms no longer yielding profit and 
moving off to the Western country. The only relief 
I wanted then was a market for property, where it 
might be sold at a fair price and effect the paymt 
of my debts, instead of being sacrificed to specula 
tors lying in wait to get it for nothing, and leaving 
the debts still unpaid. As it is, I shall be left at my 
ease, and nothing unpaid but the obligns to my 
friends which I can never repay. 

We have about 160. students entered, many 
dormitories engaged, their occupants not yet ar 
rived, and new hands still coming in so as to leave 
no doubt of all being filled. Were indeed the Law 
chair occupied, it would add immediately more than 
we could receive. But the present lamented in 
cumbent is hastening rapidly to his end. I hope 
when we meet we shall be prepared to name one 
who will accept and who will be acceptable to us in 
point of science in his particular profession, and 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 4 6 3 

more particularly in the political principles to be 
disseminated from his school. I hope too you will 
make your head quarters with us as heretofore 
under the assurance that no friend can be more wel 
come, none who possesses more sincerely my affec 
tionate esteem and respect. 


MONTICELLO Feb. 28 26 

DEAR SIR, I have duly received your favor 
covering one from a Lottery office offering it s ser 
vices for the management of that lately permitted 
to me. I have for some years been obliged by age 
and ill health to resign the care of all my affairs to 
my grandson Th. J. R. who accdly acts for me with 
full powers in all cases. That of the lottery par 
ticularly has been entirely left to him so that I 
know nothing of it s plan or management. I there 
fore sent immediately to him your letter and that 
which it covered. I think however that I heard 
him say he had engaged a particular company before 
he left Richmd. If he has not I am sure your 
recommdn will be received with respect. I have 
had too many proofs dear Sir of your kind disposns 
to need any assurance that in all cases respecting 
myself whatever you do is done from the most frdly 
motives. That the opinions of my best friends 
were divided on my late proposition appeared in 
every quarter, and in none stronger than on the ist 
question in the H. of R. My own alarm at that 

464 The Writings of [1826 

vote was great & painful. But I found, with all, 
that the more steadily they viewed the object the 
more they rallied to the alternative which finally 
prevailed. I knew that my property if a fair mar 
ket could be obtained was far beyond the amt. of 
my debts and sff t after paying them to leave me at 
ease. I knew at the same time that in the present 
abject prostration of agricultural industry in this 
country no market existed for that form of property; 
a long succession of unfruitful years, long-continued 
low prices, oppressive tariffs levied on other branches 
to maintain that of manufactures, far the most 
flourishing of all, calamitous fluctuans in the value 
of our circulating medium, and, in my case a want 
of skill, in the management of our land & labor, 
these circumstances had been long undermining the 
state of agriculture, had been breaking up the land 
holders and glutting the land market here, while 
drawing off it s bidders to people the Western coun 
try. Under such circumstances agricultural prop 
erty had become no resource for the payment of 
debts. To obtain a fair market was all I wanted, 
and this the only means of obtaining it. The idea 
was perhaps more familiar to me than to younger 
people because so commonly practised before the 
revoln. It had no connection with morality, altho 
it had with expediency. Instead of being sup 
pressed therefore with mere games of chance, lot 
teries had been placed under the discretion of the 
legislre as a means of sometimes effecting purposes 
desirable while left voluntary. Whether my case 
was within the range of that discretion, they were 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 465 

to judge, and in the integrity of that jdmt I have 
the most perfect confidce. And I hope I am not 
deceived in thinking that I discover after the ist 
impression is rectified, some revulsion in the general 
opinion. You say you had made up from the public 
papers a little packet of expressions containing 
proofs of this. Such proofs would be acceptable 
and the more so after the rap of the knuckles re 
ceived from the ist vote. I pray you to be assured 
of my great frdship and respect. 1 

1 Jefferson further wrote to Ritchie : 

"MONTICELLO Mar. 13. 26. 

"DEAR SIR, The interest you are so kind as to take in the meas 
ures proposed for relieving me from embarrassment brings on you 
the trouble of this letter. I have received an application from per 
sons in N. Co. desirous of manifesting their goodwill to me by con 
tributions in money, if acceptable, and offering to dispose of a portion 
of tickets if the way of lottery is preferred. This renders it necessary 
to take at once decided ground, lest by pursuing different plans they 
may defeat one another. It certainly is not for me to prescribe what 
shape my fellow citizens shall manifest their kindness to me. The 
bounties from one s county, expressions of it s approbation, are 
honors which it would be arrogance to refuse, especially where flow 
ing from the willing only. The same approbation however expressed 
by promoting the success of the lottery, would have the advantage 
of relieving the repugnance we justly feel against becoming a burthen 
to our friends and may justly excuse a preference of this mode. In 
answering my well wishers of N. Carolina I have endeavored to ex 
plain respectfully the motives of this preference. I send you a copy 
of this answer, as possessing the grounds of our proceedings. You 
may be able perhaps, by occasional editorial hints, to give uniformity 
of direction to the various propositions of which you probably will 
be made the center. Those to whom this letter is addressed may 
perhaps publish it which should not I think, be formally otherwise 

" The necessity which dictated this expedient cost me in it s early 
stage unspeakable mortification. The turn it has taken, so much 
beyond what I could have expected, has countervailed all I suffered, 
and become a source of felicity which I should otherwise never have 
known. Affectionately & gratefully yours." 

VOL. XII. 30. 

466 The Writings of [1826 


MONTICELLO Mar. 8. 26. 

DEAR SIR, I have duly received your two favors 
of Feb. 23. and 27. and am truly sensible of the in 
terest you so kindly take in my affairs and of the 
encouraging aspects of Mr. Gouvernour s letter. All 
that is necessary for my relief is a successful sale of 
our tickets, of which the public papers give good 
hope. If this is effected at a reasonable value for 
what I shall sell, what will remain will leave me at 
a good degree of ease. To keep a Virginia estate 
together requires in the owner both skill and atten 
tion; skill I never had and attention I could not 
have, and really when I reflect on all circumstances 
my wonder is that I should have been so long as 60 
years in reaching the result to which I am now 
reduced. Still if this resource succeeds I am safe. 
With the scheme and management of the lottery I 
meddle not at all. Age and ill health render me 
entirely unequal to it. I have committed it there 
fore to my grandson altogether, and put into his 
hands all letters coming to me on the subject, that 
he may avail himself of the kindnesses offered, as 
far as his arrangements will admit. I hope your 
affairs will wind up to your wishes, and pray you 
to be assured of the pleasure it will give me to learn 
your happy issue out of all your difficulties, and of 
my great and sincere affection and respect. 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 467 


MONTICELLO, March 30, 1826. 

DEAR SIR, I am thankful for the very interesting 
message and documents of which you have been so 
kind as to send me a copy, and will state my recol 
lections as to the particular passage of the message 
to which you ask my attention. On the conclusion 
of peace, Congress, sensible of their right to assume 
independence, would not condescend to ask its 
acknowledgment from other nations, yet were willing, 
by some of the ordinary international transactions, 
to receive what would imply that acknowledgment. 
They appointed commissioners, therefore, to pro 
pose treaties of commerce to the principal nations 
of Europe. I was then a member of Congress, was 
of the committee appointed to prepare instructions 
for the commissioners, was, as you suppose, the 
draughtsman of those actually agreed to, and was 
joined with your father and Dr. Franklin, to carry 
them into execution. But the stipulations making 
part of these injunctions, which respected priva 
teering, blockades, contraband, and freedom of the 
fisheries, were not original conceptions of mine. 
They had before been suggested by Dr. Franklin, 
in some of his papers in possession of the public, and 
had, I think, been recommended in some letter of 
his to Congress. I happen only to have been the 
inserter of them in the first public act which gave 
the formal sanction of a public authority. We ac 
cordingly proposed our treaties, containing these 
stipulations, to the principal governments of Europe. 
But we were then just emerged from a subordinate 

468 The Writings of [1826 

condition ; the nations had as yet known nothing of 
us, and had not yet reflected on the relations which 
it might be their interest to establish with us. Most 
of them, therefore, listened to our propositions with 
coyness and reserve ; old Frederic alone closing with 
us without hesitation. The negotiator of Portugal, 
indeed, signed a treaty with us, which his govern 
ment did not ratify, and Tuscany was near a final 
agreement. Becoming sensible, however, ourselves, 
that we should do nothing with the greater powers, 
we thought it better not to hamper our country with 
engagements to those of less significance, and suf 
fered our powers to expire without closing any other 
negotiations. Austria soon after became desirous 
of a treaty with us, and her ambassador pressed it 
often on me; but our commerce with her being no 
object, I evaded her repeated invitations. Had 
these governments been then apprized of the station 
we should so soon occupy among nations, all, I 
believe, would have met us promptly and with 
frankness. These principles would then have been es 
tablished with all, and from being the conventional 
law with us alone, would have slid into their en 
gagements with one another, and become general. 
These are the facts within my recollection. They 
have not yet got into written history; but their 
adoption by our southern brethren will bring them 
into observance, and make them, what they should 
be, a part of the law of the world, and of the re 
formation of principles for which they will be in 
debted to us. I pray you to accept the homage of 
my friendly and high consideration. 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 469 


MONTICELLO, April 8, 1826. 

DEAR SIR, I thank you for the very able and 
eloquent speech you have been so kind as to send 
me on the amendment of the constitution, proposed 
by Mr. McDuffie. I have read it with pleasure and 
satisfaction, and concur with much of its contents. 
On the question of the lawfulness of slavery, that is 
of the right of one man to appropriate to himself the 
faculties of another without his consent, I certainly 
retain my early opinions. On that, however, of 
third persons to interfere between the parties, and 
the effect of conventional modifications of that pre 
tension, we are probably nearer together. I think 
with you, also, that the constitution of the United 
States is a compact of independent nations subject 
to the rules acknowledged in similar cases, as well 
that of amendment provided within itself, as, in 
case of abuse, the justly dreaded but unavoidable 
ultimo ratio gentium. The report on the Panama 
question mentioned in your letter has as I suppose, 
got separated by the way. It will probably come 
by another mail. In some of the letters you have 
been kind enough to write me, I have been made to 
hope the favor of a visit from Washington. It 
would be received with sincere welcome, and un 
willingly relinquished if no circumstance should 
render it inconvenient to yourself. I repeat always 
with pleasure the assurances of my great esteem and 

470 The Writings of [1826 


MONTICELLO May 30. 26. 

DEAR SIR, Your favor of the 25th came to hand 
yesterday, and I shall be happy to receive you at 
the time you mention or any other, if any other 
shall be more convenient to you. 

Not being now possessed of a copy of Genl. Lee s 
memoirs as I before observed to you, I may have 
misremembered the passage respecting Simpcoe s 
expedition, and very willingly stand corrected. 
The only fact relative to it which I can state from 
personal knolege is that being at Monticello on the 
9th. loth. & nth of June 81, on one of these days 
I cannot now ascertain which, I distinctly saw the 
smoke of houses, successively arising in the horizon 
a little beyond James river, and which I learnt from 
indubitable testimony were kindled by his corps, 
and that being within 3. or 4 miles of N. London 
from that time to the 25th of July, he did not within 
that space of time reach N. London. But all this 
may be better explained viva voce; and in the mean 
time I repeat assurances of my great esteem & 
respect. 1 

1 Jefferson further wrote to Lee: 

" MONTICELLO, May 15, 1826. 

" DEAR SIR, The sentiments of justice which have dictated your 
letters of the 3d and gth inst., are worthy of all praise, and merit and 
meet my thankful acknowledgments. Were your father now living 
and proposing, as you are, to publish a second edition of his memoirs, 
I am satisfied he would give a very different aspect to the pages of 
that work which respect Arnold s invasion and surprise of Richmond, 
in the winter of 1780-81. He was then, I believe, in South Carolina, 
too distant from the scene of those transactions to relate them on 
his own knowledge, or even to sift them from the chaff of the rumors 
then afloat, rumors which vanished soon before the real truth, as 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 471 


MONTICELLO June 5. 26. 

A word to you, my dearest Ellen, under the cover 
of Mr. Coolidge s letter. I address you the less 
frequently, because I find it easier to write 10 
letters of business, than one on the intangible 
affections of the mind. Were these to be indulged 

vapors before the sun, obliterated by their notoriety, from every 
candid mind, and by the voice of the many who, as actors or specta 
tors knew what had truly past. The facts shall speak for themselves. 

" General Washington had just given notice to all the Governors on 
the seaboard, north and south, that an embarcation was taking place 
at New York, destined for the southward, as was given out there; and 
on Sunday the 3ist of December, 1780, we received information that 
a fleet had entered our capes. It happened fortunately that our legis 
lature was at that moment in session, and within two days of their 
rising, so that, during these two days, we had the benefit of their 
presence, and of the counsel and information of the members in 
dividually. On Monday the ist of January, we were in suspense as 
to the destination of this fleet, whether up the bay, or up our river. 
On Tuesday at 10 o clock, however, we received information that they 
had entered James river; and, on general advice, we instantly pre 
pared orders for calling in the militia, one-half from the nearer coun 
ties, and a fourth from the more remote, which would constitute a 
force of between four and five thousand men, of which orders the 
members of the legislature, which adjourned that day, took charge, 
each to his respective county; and we began the removal of every 
thing from Richmond. The wind being fair and strong, the enemy 
ascended the river as rapidly almost as the expresses could ride, who 
were dispatched to us from time to time, to notify their progress. 
At 5 P. M. on Thursday, we learnt that they had then been three hours 
landed at Westover. The whole militia of the adjacent counties were 
now called for, and to come on individually, without waiting any 
regular array. At i P. M. the next day, (Friday,) they entered Rich 
mond, and on Saturday, after twenty-four hours possession, burning 
some houses, destroying property, &c., they retreated, encamped that 
evening ten miles below, and reached their shipping at Westover the 
next day, (Sunday.) 

"By this time had assembled three hundred militia under Colonel 

1 From a copy courteously furnished by Archibald Gary Coolidge. 

47 2 The Writings of [1826 

as calls for writing letters to express them, my love 
to you would engross the unremitting exercises of 
my pen. I hear of you regularly however thro 
your correspondents of the family, and also of 

Nicholas, six miles above Westover, and two hundred under General 
Nelson, at Charles city Court House, eight miles below. Two or three 
hundred at Petersburg had put themselves under General Smallwood, 
of Maryland, accidentally there on his passage through the State; 
and Baron Steuben with eight hundred, and Colonel Gibson with one 
thousand, were also on the south side of James river, aiming to reach 
Hood s before the enemy should have passed it, where they hoped they 
could arrest them. But the wind, having shifted, carried them down 
as prosperously as it had brought them up the river. Within the 
first five days therefore, about twenty-five hundred men had collected 
at three or four different points, ready for junction. I was absent 
myself from Richmond (but always within observing distance of the 
enemy) three days only, during which I was never off my horse but to 
take food or rest, and was everywhere where my presence could be 
of any service; and I may with confidence challenge any one to put 
his finger on the point of time when I was in a state of remissness from 
any duty of my station. But I was not with the army! true; for 
first, where was it? second, I was engaged in the more important 
function of taking measures to collect an army; and, without military 
education myself, instead of jeopardizing the public safety by pre 
tending to take its command, of which I knew nothing, I had com 
mitted it to persons of the art, men who knew how to make the best 
use of it, to Steuben for instance, to Nelson and others, possessing 
that military skill and experience, of which I had none. 

" Let our condition, too, at that time be duly considered. Without 
arms, without money of effect, without a regular soldier in the State, 
or a regular officer, except Steuben, a militia scattered over the country, 
and called at a moment s warning to leave their families and firesides, 
in the dead of winter, to meet an enemy ready marshalled, and pre 
pared at all points to receive them. Yet had time been given them 
by the hasty retreat of that enemy, I have no doubt but the rush to 
arms, and to the protection of their country, would have been as rapid 
and universal as in the invasion during our late war, when, at the first 
moment of notice, our citizens rose in mass, from every part of the 
State, and without waiting to be marshalled by their officers, armed 
themselves, and marched off by ones and by twos, as quickly as they 
could equip themselves. Of the individuals of the same house one 
would start in the morning, a second at noon, a third in the evening, 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 473 

Cornelia since she has joined you. She will find, 
on her return some changes in our neighborhood. 
The removal of the family of Ashton to New Lon 
don will be felt by us all; and will scarcely be 

no one waiting an hour for the company of another. This I saw my 
self on the late occasion, and should have seen on the former had wind 
and tide, and a Howe, instead of an Arnold, slackened their pace ever 
so little. 

" And is the surprise of an open and unarmed place, although called a 
city, and even a capital, so unprecedented as to be a matter of indelible 
reproach? Which of our own capitals during the same war, was not in 
possession of the same enemy, not merely by surprise and for a day only, 
but permanently? That of Georgia? of South Carolina? North Carolina? 
Pennsylvania? New York? Connecticut? Rhode Island? Massachusetts? 
And if others were not, it was because the enemy saw no object in tak 
ing possession of them. Add to the list in the late war, Washington, 
the metropolis of the Union, covered by a fort, with troops and a 
dense population. And what capital on the continent of Europe, (St. 
Petersburg and its regions of ice excepted,) did not Bonaparte take and 
hold at his pleasure? Is it then just that Richmond and its authori 
ties alone should be placed under the reproach of history, because, in a 
moment of peculiar denudation of resources, by the coup de main of an 
enemy, led on by the hand of fortune directing the winds and weather 
to their wishes, it was surprised and held for twenty-four hours? Or 
strange that that enemy with such advantages, should be enabled then 
to get off, without risking the honors he had achieved by burnings and 
destructions of property peculiar to his principles of warfare? We, at 
least, may leave these glories to their own trumpet. 

"During this crisis of trial I was left alone, unassisted by the co-opera 
tion of a single public functionary. For, with the legislature, every 
member of the council had departed to take care of his own family. 
Unaided even in my bodily labors, but by my horse, and he, exhausted 
at length by fatigue, sunk under me in the public road, where I had to 
leave him, and with my saddle and bridle on my shoulders, to walk 
afoot to the nearest farm, where I borrowed an unbroken colt, and 
proceeded to Manchester, opposite to Richmond, which the enemy had 
evacuated a few hours before. 

" Without further pursuing these minute details, I will here ask the 
favor of you to turn to Girardin s History of Virginia, where such of 
them as are worthy the notice of history, are related in that scale of ex 
tension which its objects admit. That work was written at Milton, with 
in two or three miles of Monticello ; and at the request of the author, I 

474 The Writings of [1826 

compensated by an increased intercourse with the 
house beyond them. Yesterday closed a visit of 6 
weeks from the younger members of the latter, dur 
ing which their attractions had kept us full of the 

communicated to him every paper I possessed on the subject, of which 
he made the use he thought proper for his work. [See his pages 453, 
460, and the appendix xi. xv.] I can assure you of the truth of every 
fact he has drawn from these papers, and of the genuineness of such as 
he has taken the trouble of copying. It happened that during those 
eight days of incessant labor, for the benefit of my own memory, I 
carefully noted every circumstance worth it. These memorandums 
were often written on horseback, and on scraps of paper taken out of 
my pocket at the moment, fortunately preserved to this day, and now 
lying before me. I wish you could see them. But my papers of that 
period are stitched together in large masses, and so tattered and tender 
as not to admit removal further than from their shelves to a reading 
table. They bear an internal evidence of fidelity which must carry 
conviction to every one who sees them. We have nothing in our 
neighborhood which could compensate the trouble of a visit to it, 
unless perhaps our University, which I believe you have not seen, and 
I can assure you is worth seeing. Should you think so, I would ask as 
much of your time at Monticello as would enable you to examine these 
papers at your ease. Many others too are interspersed among them, 
which have relation to your object, many letters from Generals Gates, 
Greene, Stephens and others engaged in the Southern war, and in the 
North also. All should be laid open to you without reserve, for there 
is not a truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole 
world. During the invasions of Arnold, Phillips and Cornwallis, until 
my time of office had expired, I made it a point, once a week, by letters 
to the President of Congress, and to General Washington, to give them 
an exact narrative of the transactions of the week. These letters 
should still be in the office of state in Washington, and in the presses at 
Mount Vernon. Or, if the former were destroyed by the conflagra 
tions of the British, the latter are surely safe, and may be appealed to 
in corrobo ration of what I have now written. 

"There is another transaction, very erroneously stated in the same 
work, which although not concerning myself, is within my own 
knowledge, and I think it a duty to communicate it to you. I am 
sorry that not being in possession of a copy of the memoirs, I am not 
able to quote the page, and still less the facts themselves, verbatim 
from the text. But of the substance, as recollected, I am certain. It 
is said there that, about the time of Tarleton s expedition up the north 

1 826] Thomas Jefferson 475 

homagers to their beauty. According to appear 
ances they had many nibbles and bites, but whether 
the hooks took firm hold of any particular subject 
or not, is a secret not communicated to me. If not, 
we shall know it by a return to their angling grounds, 
for here they fix them until they catch something 
to their palate. The annual visit of the family en 
masse begins you know, the next month. Our near 
relationship of blood interests me of course in their 
success, for by ascending to my great grandfather 
and to their great, great, great grandfather, we come 
to a common ancestor. Shall I say anything to you 
of my health. It is as good as I ever expect it to 
be. At present tolerable, but subject to occasional 

branch of James river to Oharlottesville and Monticello, Simcoe was de 
tached up the southern branch, and penetrated as far as New London, 
in Bedford, where he destroyed a dep6t of arms, &c., &c. I was with 
my family, at the time, at a possession I have within three miles of 
New London, and I can assure you of my own knowledge that he did 
not advance to within fifty miles of New London. Having reached 
the lower end of Buckingham, as I have understood, he heard of a 
deposit of arms, and a party of new recruits under Baron Steuben, 
somewhere in Prince Edward; he left the Buckingham road immedi 
ately, at or near Francisco s, pushed directly south at this new object, 
was disappointed, and returned to and down James river to head quar 
ters. I had then returned to Monticello myself, and from thence saw 
the smokes of his conflagration of houses and property on that river, 
as they successively arose in the horizon at a distance of twenty-five 
or thirty miles. I must repeat that his excursion from Francisco s is 
not from my own knowledge, but as I have heard it from the inhabit 
ants on the Buckingham road, which for many years I travelled six or 
eight times a year. The particulars of that, therefore, may need 
inquiry and correction. 

"These are all the recollections within the scope of yourrequest, which 
I can state with precision and certainty ; and of these you are free to 
make what use you think proper in the new edition of your father s 
work; and with which I pray you to accept the assurances of my great 
esteem and respect." 

476 The Writings of [1826 

relapses of sufferance. I am just now out of one of 
these. The pleasure of seeing yourself, Mr. Coolidge 
and Cornelia I begin to enjoy in anticipation; and 
am sure I shall feel it s sanative effects when the 
moment arrives. I commit my affections to Mr. 
Coolidge to my letter to him. Communicate those 
to Cornelia by a thousand kisses from me, and take 
to yourself those I impress on this paper for you. 


MONTICELLO, June 24, 1826. 

RESPECTED SIR, The kind invitation I receive 
from you, on the part of the citizens of the city of 
Washington, to be present with them at their cele 
bration on the fiftieth anniversary of American Inde 
pendence, as one of the surviving signers of an 
instrument pregnant with our own, and the fate of 
the world, is most flattering to myself, and height 
ened by the honorable accompaniment proposed for 
the comfort of such a journey. It adds sensibly to 
the sufferings of sickness, to be deprived by it of 
a personal participation in the rejoicings of that day. 
But acquiescence is a duty, under circumstances not 
placed among those we are permitted to control. I 
should, indeed, with peculiar delight, have met and 
exchanged there congratulations personally with the 
small band, the remnant of that host of worthies, who 
joined with us on that day, in the bold and doubtful 
election we were to make for our country, between 
submission or the sword; and to have enjoyed with 
them the consolatory fact, that our fellow citizens, 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 477 

after half a century of experience and prosperity, 
continue to approve the choice we made. May it be 
to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts 
sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal 
of arousing men to burst the chains under which 
monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded 
them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings 
and security of self-government. That form which 
we have substituted, restores the free right to the un 
bounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. 
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of 
man. The general spread of the light of science has 
already laid open to every view the palpable truth, 
that the mass of mankind has not been born with 
saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and 
spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the 
grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. 
For ourselves, let the annual return of this day for 
ever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an 
undiminished devotion to them. 

I will ask permission here to express the pleasure 
with which I should have met my ancient neighbors 
of the city of Washington and its vicinities, with 
whom I passed so many years of a pleasing social in 
tercourse ; an intercourse which so much relieved the 
anxieties of the public cares, and left impressions so 
deeply engraved in my affections, as never to be for 
gotten. With my regret that ill health forbids me 
the gratification of an acceptance, be pleased to re 
ceive for yourself, and those for whom you write, 
the assurance of my highest respect and friendly 

478 The Writings of [1826 


[Mar. 1826.] 

I, Thomas Jefferson, of Monticello, in Albemarle, 
being of sound mind and in my ordinary state of 
health, make my last will and testament in manner 
and form as follows : 

I give to my grandson Francis Eppes, son of my 
dear deceased daughter Mary Eppes, in fee simple, 
all that part of my lands at Poplar Forest lying west 
of the following lines, to wit: beginning at Radford s 
upper corner, near the double branches of Bear 
Creek and the public road, and running thence in a 
straight line to the fork of my private road, near the 
barn; thence along that private road, (as it was 
changed in 1817,) to its crossing of the main branch 
of North Tomahawk Creek; and from that crossing, 
in a direct line over the main ridge which divides the 
North and South Tomahawk, to the South Toma 
hawk, at the confluence of two branches where the 
old road to the Waterlick crossed it, and from that 
confluence up the northermost branch, (which 
separate M Daniels and Perry s fields,) to its source; 
and thence by the shortest line to my western 
boundary. And having, in a former correspondence 
with my deceased son-in-law John W. Eppes, con 
templated laying off for him, with remainder to my 
grandson Francis, a certain portion in the southern 
part of my lands in Bedford and Campbell, which I 
afterwards found to be generally more indifferent 
than I had supposed, and therefore determined to 
change its location for the better; now to remove 
all doubt, if any could arise on a purpose merely 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 479 

voluntary and unexecuted, I hereby declare that 
what I have herein given to my said grandson 
Francis, is instead of, and not additional to, what I 
had formerly contemplated. I subject all my other 
property to the payment of my debts in the first 
place. Considering the insolvent state of the affairs 
of my friend and son-in-law Thomas Mann Ran 
dolph, and that what will remain of my property 
will be the only resource against the want in which 
his family would otherwise be left, it must be his 
wish, as it is my duty, to guard that resource against 
all liability for his debts, engagements or purposes 
whatsoever, and to preclude the rights, powers, and 
authorities over it, which might result to him by 
operation of law, and which might, independently 
of his will, bring it within the power of his creditors, 
I do hereby devise and bequeath all the residue of 
my property, real and personal, in possession or in 
action, whether held in my own right, or in that of 
my dear deceased wife, according to the powers 
vested in me by deed of settlement for that purpose, 
to my grandson Thomas J. Randolph, and my 
friends Nicholas P. Trist and Alexander Garrett, and 
their heirs, during the life of my said son-in-law 
Thomas M. Randolph, to be held and administered 
by them, in trust, for the sole and separate use and 
behoof of my dear daughter Martha Randolph, and 
her heirs; and aware of the nice and difficult dis 
tinction of the law in these cases, I will further ex 
plain by saying, that I understand and intend the 
effect of these limitations to be, that the legal estate 
and actual occupation shall be vested in my said 

480 The Writings of [1826 

trustees, and held by them in base fee, determinable 
on the death of my said son-in-law, and the re 
mainder during the same time be vested in my said 
daughter and her heirs, and of course disposable by 
her last will, and that at the death of my said son- 
in-law, the particular estate of the trustees shall be 
determined, and the remainder, in legal estate, 
possession, and use, become vested in my said 
daughter and her heirs, in absolute property forever. 
In consequence of the variety and indescribableness 
of the articles of property within the house at 
Monticello, and the difficulty of inventorying and 
appraising them separately and specifically, and its 
inutility, I dispense with having them inventoried 
and appraised; and it is my will that my executors 
be not held to give any security for the administra 
tion of my estate. I appoint my grandson Thomas 
Jefferson Randolph, my sole executor during his 
life, and after his death, I constitute executors my 
friends Nicholas P. Trist and Alexander Garrett, 
joining to them my daughter Martha Randolph, 
after the death of my said son-in-law Thomas M. 
Randolph. Lastly, I revoke all former wills by me 
heretofore made; and in witness that this is my 
will, I have written the whole with my own hand on 
two pages, and have subscribed my name to each of 
them this sixteenth day of March, one thousand 
eight hundred and twenty-six. 

I, Thomas Jefferson, of Monticello, in Albemarle, 
make and add the following codicil to my will, con 
trolling the same so far as its provisions go: 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 481 

I recommend to my daughter Martha Randolph, 
the maintenance and care of my well beloved sister 
Anne Scott, and trust confidently that from affection 
to her, as well as for my sake, she will never let her 
want a comfort. I have made no specific provision 
for the comfortable maintenance of my son-in-law 
Thomas M. Randolph, because of the difficulty and 
uncertainty of devising terms which shall vest any 
beneficial interest in him, which the law will not 
transfer to the benefit of his creditors, to the desti 
tution of my daughter and her family, and disable 
ment of her to supply him: whereas, property 
placed under the exclusive control of my daughter 
and her independent will, as if she were a feme sole, 
considering the relation in which she stands both to 
him and his children, will be a certain resource 
against want for all. 

I give to my friend James Madison, of Mont- 
pellier, my gold-mounted walking staff of animal 
horn, as a token of the cordial and affectionate 
friendship which for nearly now an half century, 
has united us in the same principles and pursuits of 
what we have deemed for the greatest good of our 

I give to the University of Virginia my library, 
except such particular books only, and of the same 
edition, as it may already possess, when this legacy 
shall take effect : the rest of my said library, remain 
ing after those given to the University shall have 
been taken out, I give to my two grandsons-in-law 
Nicholas P. Trist and Joseph Coolidge. To my 
grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph, I give my 

VOL. xii. 31. 

482 The Writings of [1826 

silver watch in preference of the golden one, because 
of its superior excellence. My papers of business 
going of course to him, as my executor, all others of 
a literary or other character I give to him as of his 
own property. 

I give a gold watch to each of my grandchildren, 
who shall not have already received one from me, 
to be purchased and delivered by my executors to 
my grandsons, at the age of twenty-one, and grand 
daughters at that of sixteen. 

I give to my good, affectionate, and faithful ser 
vant Burwell, his freedom, and the sum of three 
hundred dollars, to buy necessaries to commence his 
trade of glazier, or to use otherwise, as he pleases. 

I give also to my good servants John Hemings and 
Joe Fosset, their freedom at the end of one year 
after my death; and to each of them respectively, 
all the tools of their respective shops or callings; 
and it is my will that a comfortable log-house be 
built for each of the three servants so emancipated, 
on some part of my lands convenient to them with 
respect to the residence of their wives, and to 
Charlottesville and the University, where they will 
be mostly employed, and reasonably convenient 
also to the interests of the proprietor of the lands, 
of which houses I give the use of one, with a cur 
tilage of an acre to each, during his life or personal 
occupation thereof. 

I give also to John Hemings the service of his two 
apprentices Madison and Eston Hemings, until their 
respective ages of twenty-one years, at which period 
respectively, I give them their freedom; and I 

1826] Thomas Jefferson 483 

humbly and earnestly request of the legislature of 
Virginia a confirmation of the bequest of freedom 
to these servants, with permission to remain in this 
State, where their families and connections are, as 
an additional instance of the favor, of which I have 
received so many other manifestations in the course 
of my life, and for which I now give them my last, 
solemn, and dutiful thanks. 

In testimony that this is a codicil to my will of 
yesterday s date, and that it is to modify so far the 
provisions of that will, I have written it all with my 
own hand in two pages, to each of which I subscribe 
my name, this seventeenth day of March, one thou 
sand eight hundred and twenty-six. 











1743 o. s. 



The letters both to and from Jefferson are grouped under the name 
of each correspondent. All references in small type are to letters 
printed in footnotes; those in roman letters are written by Jefferson, 
and those in italic to him. 

Aborigines, American (see In 
dians ) . 

ADAIR, JAMES, views of, on In 
dians, XI. 250. 


1785, 21 June, IV. 

- 7 J^y, 

25 September, 

1786, 9 August, V. 

1787, 22 February, 

1804, 13 June, X. 

22 July, 

ii Sei 

43 2 


1817, n January, XII. 44 
Jefferson s conversation with, 
I- 353- Jefferson s corre 
spondence with, V. 138; XI. 
172. Indictment of Jefferson 
by, X. 86. Death of, XII. 



1777, 16 May, II. 

21 August, 

1785, 3i July, IV. 

1786, 9 V. 

27 August, 

1787, i July, 

28 September, 
1791, 17 July, VI. 

30 August, 

1794, 25 April, VIII. 

1796, 28 February, 

28 December, 

1812, 21 January, XI. 

20 April, 

ii June, 




3 J 3 



15 October, 

i November, 

1813, 15 - 293 

22 AugUSt, - 323 

28 October, 341 

1814, 5 July, - 393 

1815, 10 August, - 484 

1817, ii January, XII. 46 

1818, 17 May, 94 

13 November, 102 

1819, 9 July, - 131 
7 November, - 144 

10 December, 150 

1821, 22 January, 198 

1822, i June, - 234 




1823, 4 September, - 309 

12 October, 312 
1825, 18 December, 414 
Arguments on Independence, I. 

23. Account of the drafting 
of the Declaration of Inde 
pendence, 28. Speech on 
Confederation, 45, 52. Opin 
ion of British Constitution, 
178; XI. 167. Alleged writ 
ing of "Publicola," I. 184. 
Interview with Jefferson, 334. 
Offer of Mission to Jefferson, 
334. Presidential policy of, 
336. Not a Republican, 337, 
3 47; VI. 281. Governmental 
theories of, I. 341. Poor ap 
pointments of, 346. Cabinet 
of, 349; XI. 296. Articles of 
"Davila," I. 354; VI. 255. 
Opinion on permanence of 
Union, I. 375. Draft of 
Declaration in handwriting 
of, II. 199. Anecdote of, IV. 



The Writings of 

Arguments on Ind ence Cont. 
126. Character of, 136; V. 
485 ; XI. 174. Squibs against, 
IV. 428. Portrait of, V. 219, 
384. Desires to be recalled, 
261. Diplomatic expenses 
of, 394- Jefferson thrown 
into antagonism to, VI. 256, 
313. Attacks on, 275, 279. 
Criticised by Hamilton, 281. 
Jefferson explains his en 
dorsement of Paine s pam 
phlet to, 283. Plans of, VII. 
132. Vote for Vice- Presi 
dent, 192, 196. Alleged ar 
ticles of, VIII. 12. Scheme 
to defeat, 255. Jefferson s 
preference for, 255. Con 
gratulations to, on election 
to the Presidency, 259. De 
tachment from Hamilton, 
267. Election of, 267. 

Opinion of Jefferson, 271. 
Letter of, to Dalton, 272. 
Will not truckle to Great 
Britain, 273. Jefferson s 
friendship with, 279; X. 85. 
Attempt to produce aliena 
tion from Jefferson, VIII. 
284. Debate in Congress on 
speech of, 295. Declaration 
of, concerning Senate, 375. 
Partisans of, pay no regard 
to Washington s Birthday, 
379. Proposed changes in 
administration of, 385. In 
sane message of, 386, 388. 
Objectionable speech of, 401. 
Thrasonic addresses of, 414. 
Embarrassing conduct of, 
IX. 183. Midnight appoint 
ments of, 222, 226, 231, 237, 
245, 247. Family appoint 
ments by, 238. Long ab 
sences from capital while 
President, 311. Suppression 
of Wood s History of Ad 
ministration of, 347. Wash 
ington s dislike of, X. 32. 
Relations of, with Jefferson, 
XI. 167. Sends Jefferson a 
gift of homespun cloth, 218. 
Taylor s reply to, 529. Read 
ing of, XII. 46. Health of, 
89, 399. Secures fisheries, 

107. Correspondence with 
Cunningham, 313, 360. Pick 
ering s attack on, 360. Men 
tal strength of, 400. 

1826, 30 March, XII. 467 

Answer of "Publicola" to Paine 
by, VI. 275, 279, 283, 314. 
Appointment of, to Berlin, 
VIII. 296. Appointment of, 
negatived, XI. 103. Jeffer 
son s consultation with, con 
cerning embargo, XII. 420, 

[1800], 26 February, IX. 114 
1801, 29 March, 239 

Jefferson s veneration for, VIII. 
282; IX. 239. Insults to, 
239. Services of, XII. 115. 
Character of , 125. 

1770, ii July, I. 481 

1771, 20 February, II. 3 
i June, ii 

Agricultural Societies: Jefferson s 
plan for, IX. 181. 

Agriculture: American tendency 
to, IV. 84. God s chosen voca 
tion, 85. Jefferson s interest in, 

V. 338; VIII. 145, 149; XII. 56. 
The principal object of Amer 
ica, VI. 274. Neglect of, 363. 
Contempt for, 408. Prosperity 
of American, VII. 100. Notes 
on American, 113. System of 
American, 114. Question as to 
advantage of, XII. 49. 

Agriculturists: The most valua 
ble citizens, IV. 449. 

Albemarle County: Resolutions of, 
1774, II. 42. Address to in 
habitants of, XI. 104. 

Albinos: Cases of, in negroes, III. 

Russia, Emperor of), letter to, 
X. 249. Character of , XI. 157. 

Alexandria, Va.: Future impor 
tance of, V. 220. Address of, to 
Jefferson, VI. 34. 

ALEXANDRIA, VA., Mayor of, 
1790, ii March, VI. 34 

Algiers: Gift to , 1 . 2 05 . Piracy of, 

VI. 86; VIII. 125. Resolution 

Thomas Jefferson 


A Igiers Continued . 

concerning American prisoners 
in, VI. 340. Appropriation for 
convention with, 473 . Informa 
tion concerning, IX. 83. Trib 
ute to, 264. 

Alien Law (see also Kentucky 
Resolutions), VIII. 412, 414, 
417, 427, 429, 433, 45. 462, 
481; IX. 28, 61. Petitions 
against, 44, 46. Jefferson s 
characterization of, 218. 

Aliens: Proclamation concerning, 

111. 161. 

ALLAN, ETHAN, declaration con 
cerning, II. 145. 

ALLEN, JOHN, report on, IV. 228. 

of, in Burr s plot, X. 345. 

America (see also South America; 
U.S.): 65, 

112. Alleged degeneracy of ani 
mals in, III. 415, 416, 422. U.S. 
a nest to populate all, V. 75. 
Disconnection of, from Europe, 
XI. 352. Separate interests 
from Europe, XII. 167. Should 
have no kings or emperors, 274. 


of, V. 384- 

AMES, FISHER, speculation in 
public funds, I. 354. Probable 
defeat of, VII. 179. 

Anas, JEFFERSON S, I. 163. 


1781, 31 March, III. 235 

Animals: Alleged degeneracy of, 
in America, III. 415, 416, 422. 

Annapolis Convention: Meeting of, 
I. 168, 338. Failure of, V. 226, 

Anti-Federalists (see also Repub 
lican party; Political parties) : 
Unreconciled to Constitution, 
VI. 24. Disappearance of, 40. 


1816, 18 July, XII. 16 

l8l7, I AugUSt, 22 

1820, 13 July, _ 25 

Appointments (see also Civil Ser 
vice; Office-holders; Removal) : 
Rights of President and Senate 
in, VI. 49. Principles govern 
ing, IX. 245. Principles gov 
erning Jefferson s, 270. Policy 

as regards papers concerning, 
443. Reduction in number of, 
450. Right of Congress to docu 
ments relating to, X. 218. Cir 
cular letter concerning, XI. 

Arbitration: Offer of, VI. 295. 

Argand Lamp, IV. 380; V. 92. 

Aristocracy: A natural, among 
men, XI. 343. As a protection 
against the majority, 343. Euro 
pean, 348. 

ARMAND, COLONEL, legion of, III. 
43, 296. 

Arms: Purchase of, II. 5. Scarc 
ity of, 473, 492; III. 20, 41, 
52, 117, 131, 242, 252, 288. 
Manufactory of, II. 474. 


1804, 26 May, X. 79 

1806, 14 February, 230 

1807, 17 July, 466 

1808, 2 May, XI. 30 
1813, 21 February, 284 
Negotiator to Spain, I. 386. 

Offer of French mission to, 
X. 79. Excitement against, 
230. Quarrel with Bowdoin, 
276. Incapacity of, XI. 


Army (see U . S. Army). 

1781, 24 March, III. 232 

(See also Virginia). Invasion 
of Virginia under, III. 105, 
123, 125-146, 156, 161, 164 
238, 282; XII. 147. Possible 
capture of, III. 158. Not the 
proposer of the Canadian 
expedition, V. 197. At De 
troit, VI. 89. 

1789, 19 July, V. 483 

Assignats, French: Question of 
payments raised by, VI. 316. 
Fluctuation of, VII. 200, 261. 
Association (see Congress, Conti 
nental) . 

Assumption of State Debts (see 
also Hamilton): History of, I. 
174; VI. 37, 47, 53, 75, 76, 78, 
82-84, 87, 96, 106, 108; VII. 
224. Disapprobation of, VI. 
154. Virginian dislike of, 217. 
Second, 476. 


The Writings of 


1812, 24 May, XI. 244 

Organization of fur company 
by, XL 38. 

Asylum (see also Expatriation; 
Impressment): Right of, VII. 

ATHANASIUS, dogmas of, XII. 

Aurora (see also Duane) : Duane s 
prosecution for publication in, 
I. 207; IX. 257. A Republican 
newspaper, VI. 264; VII. 143. 
Publication of confidential pa 
per in, VIII. 245. Change in, 
299. Governmental influence 
in, X. 151. Financial straits 
of, XL 191. Attacks of, on 
Madison, 195. 


1816, 9 January, XL 500 

9 February, 505 


1790, 2 April, VI. 41 

BACHE, B. F. (see Aurora). 

posed purchase at Gharlottes- 
ville, IX. 5. 


1803, 30 April, IX. 463 

BAIREUTH, Memoirs of the Mar 
grave of, XL 360, 439. 

Balloon, IV. 425. 

BANCROFT, AARON, Unitarian ser 
mons of, XII. 331. 


1786, 26 February, III. 325 

1789, 26 January, V. 447 

Bank, National: Proposed crea 
tion of, XL 355. 

Bank of North America: Pennsyl 
vania opposition to, V. 170. 

Bank, U. S. (see also Banks) : In 
fluence of, on government, I. 
177. Circulating medium of, 
242. Favoritism by, 265. Bill 
to incorporate, 343; VI. 186, 
194. Opinion on constitution 
ality of, 197. Unpopular in 
South, 211. Subscriptions to, 
278,279,281. Dividend of, 363. 
Fall in stock of, 413, 482. Plan 

to establish branch in Rich 
mond, VII. 132. Curtailment of 
discounts, 197. Evil influence 
of, VIII. 244. Ruin caused by, 
268. Hostility of, to U. S. gov 
ernment, X. 57. Refusal of 
Congress to re-charter, XL 318. 

Bankruptcy: Opinion upon bill, 
VII. 193. General principles of , 
193. Law not needed by farm 
ers, 196, 198. Cases of commer 
cial, IX. 112, 1 20. Compromise 
as to, XII. 214. 

Banks: Condemnation of, I. 341. 
Relations of U. S. government 
with, IX. 377, 395; X. 57. Jef 
ferson s desire for support from, 
IX. 395. Gallatin s approval 
of, XL 200. Should not be al 
lowed to issue paper money, 
33> 33 x - Inordinate issue of 
notes by, 382. Suspend specie 
payments, 430; XII. 145, 149, 
158. Difficulties caused by 
paper notes of, XL 444. Mania 
for, 447, 494. Abuse of paper 
issues, XII. 128, 176, 185. 
Curse of, 288. 


1791, 30 August, VI. 309 
Almanac of, VI. 309, 311. Ca 
pacity of, XL 121. 

Barbary States (see also Algiers; 
Morocco; Tunis) : Proposed con 
cert against, I. 99; V. 149. 
Squadron to cruise against, I. 
365, 370. Peace with, IV. 376. 
Observations on, 399. Negotia 
tions with, V. 85. Measure to 
be taken against, 107. News of, 
113, 1 80; VI. 486. Jefferson s 
view concerning, V. 345. Amer 
ican captives in, 445; VI. 13, 
185. Depredations of, IX. 263. 
Relations with, 328; X. 314, 
512. Captures of American 
ships by, IX. 409. U. S. policy 
towards, 454. War with, X. 38, 
112, 192. Naval force to check, 
XII. 267. 

BARCLAY, T., position of, V. 288. 


1792, 20 June, VII. 122 
1802, 3 May, IX. 370 
1806, 24 February, X. 232 

Thomas Jefferson 


BARLOW, JOEL Continued. 

1807, 10 December, X. 529 

1809, 8 October, XI. 120 

1 810, 24 January, 131 

1811, 1 6 April, 205 
Value of works of, VII. 122. 

Proposed history of the Re 
volution, XI. 131. 

BARRETT, N., Jefferson s debt to, 
VII. 360. 


1815, i May, XI. 470 

BARRUEL, ABBE, book by, IX. 

BARRY, CAPT. J., refusal of Jeffer 
son to regard death of, X. 31. 


1790, 12 August, VI. 120 

1801, 14 February, IX. 177 


1792, i April, VI. 457 
Batture Case, XI. 140, 152. Jeffer 
son s brief in, 219, 226. Ending 
of, 227. 

BAYARD, JAMES A., alleged offers 
of, I. 362. Deposition of, 392. 

BECKLEY, J., gossip of, I. 274. 
Too credulous, 277. Retire 
ment of, VIII. 289. 

BECKWITH, G., informal negotia 
tions with, I. 190; VI. 122, 361. 
Conversation with Jefferson, I. 
189; VI. 245. Information 
from, 249. Criticism of Jeffer 
son, 259. 

Beer: Advantages of, XI. 494. 


1793, 13 February, VII. 234 
Berlin Decrees (see also France}, 

XI. 18, 107, 150, 220. 

BEVERLEY, R., IV. 103. 


1807, ii July, X. 455 

Bill of Rights, V. 387, 428. Jef 
ferson s wish for, 371; VII. 
141. Addition of, to Constitu- 
tion.V. 384. Necessity for, 422. 
Every one in France trying his 
hand at, 444. Importance of, 
461. Proposed French, 488. 
Suggestions for, 492. Jeffer 
son s opinion concerning, VI. 


BINGHAM, WILLIAM, character of, 
V. 259- 


1788, ii May, V. 390 


1808, 13 November, XI. 72 

BISHOP, SAMUEL, appointment of, 
IX. 270, 286. 

mation to be furnished by, V. 


1792, i April, VI. 456 

BLAND, RICHARD, IV. 104. Char 
acterization of, XI. 413. At 
tempt to improve condition of 
slave, 417. 


1779, 8 June, II. 376 

18 379 

1781, 9 February, III. 165 

ings of flotilla under, X. 332. 
Possible information from, 408. 
Trial of, 408. 

Blockade: Principles of, VII. 313. 
What constitutes, VIII. 29. 

BLOUNT, WILLIAM, impeachment 
of, I. 344; VIII. 357, 359, 362, 

365, 369- 

opinion of, XII. 194. 


1787, 23 July, V. 305 

BOLLMAN, ERIC, arrest of, X. 336. 
Information concerning Burr, 
394. Pardon of, 395. Course 
to be taken towards, 402. 

of, to Miss Patterson, X. 48. 

France}, military movements 
of, VIII. 306; IX. 8; X. 481, 
483, 493; XL 114. Seizes gov 
ernment of France, IX. ipi, 
106, in. Jefferson s opinion 
of, 114; XI. 371, 394, 476, 505; 
XII. 77. Policy of, XI. 95. 
Downfall of, 450, 454. Return 
from Elba, 483. The choice of 
his nation, 486. 

Books (see also JEFFERSON); List 
of, II. 12. Purchase of, IV. 
369, Evil of tariff on, XII. 

Boston Port Bill: Illegality of, II. 


The Writings of 

Botany: Jefferson s interest in, 

IX 131 
BOTETOURT, LORD, character of, 

XII. 391. 
BOTTA, C., history of, XI. 485; 

XII. 180. 

Boundaries (see United States). 

1805, 27 April, X. 140 

1806, 26 July, 276 

1807, 2 April, 379 

10 July, 453 
Appointed U. S. Minister to 

Spain, X. 276. Misunder 
standing with Armstrong, 

BOWLES, W. A., attempt of, to 
excite Creeks, VI. 344. Influ 
ence of, over Creeks, VII. 427. 
Brazil: News of, V. 272, 273. 
Probable revolt in, 274. Infor 
mation desired concerning, VI. 

1800, 29 January, IX. 105 

1 8 December, 156 
1803, 24 November, X. 51 

1803, 12 August, X. 5 

18 7 
1821, it December, VIII. 459 


1789, 14 March, V. 459 

Recommendation of, V. 355. 


1807, 10 March, X. 371 
British Debts (see Debts). 
British Party in U. S. (see also 

Federalists}, VI. 307; VII. 324; 

VIII. 447; XI. 255. 
British Posts (see Posts, Frontier). 

1795, 18 April, VIII. 166 

1808, 27 October, XI. 52 

1788, 26 May, V. 397 


1798, 25 March, VIII. 390 

Brutus: Fitting out of ship, X. 

336, 338. 

BRY, DE, voyages of, XI. 252. 

1787, i October, V. 352 

III. 319. Opinion on mam 

moth, 411. On degeneracy 
of animals in new world, 
415,421. Honor to, 428, 455. 
Theory of central heat, IV. 
209. Jefferson sends book to, 
467. Desires to see elk, V. 75. 
Jefferson s gifts to, 352. Jef 
ferson s meeting with, XII. 
392. Jefferson s gift of skins 
to, 393- 

Bunker Hill: Battle of, II. 107, 
1 08, 137. Number of troops en 
gaged at, V. 184. 
BURKE, ^EDANUS, pamphlet on 

Cincinnati, V. 52. 
BURKE, EDMUND, Toryism of, VI. 


1801, 21 June, IX. 267 

1805, i X. 147 


!797. 17 June, VIII. 309 

1798, 20 May, 421 

26 422 

16 June, 423 

12 November, 424 

1799, ii February, IX. 37 

1800, 15 December, 154 

1 80 1, i February, 173 

1 8 November, 313 

WILKINSON) . And election of 
1800, I. 362. Van Ness pam 
phlet on, 375. Relations 
with Jefferson, 376, 391; 
VIII. 421; IX. 154, 155, 
173, 206; X. 463. Con 
spiracy of, I. 402, 403, 408; 

X. 231, 268, 286, 291, 292, 
311, 322, 327, 330-332, 339, 
383, 410, 463, 473, 523, 478; 

XI. 148,385,386. Proclama 
tion against, X. 301. Ac 
complices of, 336, 369, 378. 
Intrigues with foreign na 
tions, 335; XI. 53, 384. 
Special message on, X. 346, 
357. Trial of, 382, 383, 385, 
394, 410, 412, 461, 499, 501, 


1818, 14 March, XII. 90 

BURWELL, REBECCA, Jefferson s 

early love for, I. 435-451. 

Thomas Jefferson 



1805, 28 January, X. 126 

1806, 15 222 

17 September, 286 
1808, 22 November, XL 75 


1791, 2 December, VI. 340 

1800, ii August, IX. 137 

1801, 26 287 
BUTLER, Z., report on, IV. 223. 

1781, i March, III. 188 



1814, 31 January, XI. 379 

1815, 5 446 
1818, 14 XII. 8 1 

l82O, 22 154 

28 November, 169 
1826, 7 February, - 450 

CABELL, S. J., presented by grand 
jury, VIII. 324, 339. 

Cabinet: Dissensions in Washing 
ton s, VII. 137; XI. 138. Mon- 
archism in, VII. 337. Jeffer 
son s appointments to, IX. 
208. Modes of communicating 
with President, 310. Rumors 
of dissensions in Jefferson s, X. 
241. How far a check on Presi 
dent, 414. Friction in Madi 
son s, XI. 124, 132. 

Cabinet Councils: Jefferson s de 
sire to avoid, VIII. 48. Method 
of business in, XL 137. 

Cabot Family: Arms of, IX. 169. 


1 8 1 1 , 1 6 September, XL 214 

1799, 6 September, IX. 81 

6 October, 83 
Gift of money to, VIII. 449; 

IX. 82. Should be substan 
tially defended, 136. Fine re 
funded by private contribu- 
tions % 260. Threat of, 263. 
Base ingratitude of, 387-390. 
History of Jefferson s rela 
tions with, 387-390; X. 86. 
CALONNE, C. A. DE, report to No 
tables, I. 1 06. Disappoints ex 
pectation, VI. 424. Proposition 
concerning American debt 
VII. 201. 

CALVIN, dogmas of, XII. 242. 
Blasphemy of, 270. 

Cambrian: Proclamation concern 
ing British frigate, X. 325. 

"Camillus" (see HAMILTON, 


1797, i September, VIII. 336 


1792, 27 March, VI. 454 


1809, 3 September, XL 115 

CAMUS, A. G., information con 
cerning, XL 484. 

Canada: Plan for attack on, I. 
411. Viewson, 11.143, 147, 197, 
232,244. Report on war in, 154, 
183, 189. Offer to admit to 
Confederation, V. 29. Political 
condition of, VI. 267. Conduct 
of British in, X. 481. Prepara 
tions for conquest of, 49 8. Prob 
able conquest of, XL 262, 265, 
357. Acquisition of, a sine qua 
non for peace, 262. Invasion of, 
264. Conquest of Upper, 363, 


Canada, Boundary of (see Posts, 
Frontier) . 

Canals (see also Internal Improve 
ments): Encouragement to, X. 
130, 317; XL 71. 

CANNING, GEORGE, despatches of, 
I. 427. 

Capital Laws, IV. 59. 

Capital, National, IV. 174, 243, 
314, 319, 321, 330. History of 
location of, I. 175. Vote upon, 
V. 430. Motion concerning, VI. 
59. Removal of, 64, 69, 74, 76, 
78, 83, 84, 88, 89, 97. Opinion 
on, 156. Jefferson believes that 
attempts will be made to repeal 
act settling, VII. 130. Deal over 
location of, 226. Plans of, 261. 
Jefferson s opinion concerning, 
VIII. 342. 


1816, ii November, XII. 41 
"Olive Branch," XII. 41. 

Caribou: Jefferson s gift of, to 
Buffon, V. 352. 


1779, 22 July, II. 454 


The Writings of 


1786, 20 June, V. 129 

26 December, 238 

1787, 25 September, 345 

15 December, 363 

1788, 3 June 403 

1789, 4 March, 452 

12 September, VI. 12 

1790, ii April, 43 

- 2 August, in 

1791, 12 March, 213 

17 220 

- 6 November, 318 
Character of, V. 258. Break in 

correspondence of, VI. 240. 
Recommended to negotiate 
with Spain, 348. Long silence 
of, VII. 136. Conduct of, 
VIII. 153. 

1816, 18 July, XII. 20 

CARR, DABNEY, services to Revo 
lution, I. 9; XI. 511. Allusions 
to, I. 470; II. 38. Character of , 
XL 513- 


1816, 19 January, XL 511 


1787, 10 August, V. 322 

1792, 22 June, VII. 125 
1798, 12 April, VIII. 405 

Carriage Tax, VIII. 162. 

1781, 3 March, III. 198 

1787, 1 6 January, V. 251 

4 August, 318 

21 December, 375 

1788, 27 May, 400 
Character of, V. 150. 


1783, 12 October, IV. 172 


1823, 4 December, XII. 326 

1774, 9 December, II. 94 
Catherine: Case of British ship, 

VII. 378, 381, 382. 
Cedars: Report on, II. 183. Story 

of, 222; V. 189. 
Census: First U. S., VI. 297, 303, 

304. Transmission of. IX. 333. 
Chancery: Origin of courts of, IV. 

473. Powers of courts of, 475. 
CHASE, S., speech on Confedera 
tion, I. 44, 49. 


1782, 26 November, III. 30 6 

1785, 7 June, 318 

7 418 

Journal of, IV. 247. 

CHATHAM, LORD, plan of concilia 
tion, II. 105, 125. 


1802, 17 January, IX. 347 

Cherbourg: Importance of, V. 131. 

Cherokee Indians: Right to lands 
of, VI. 140. 

Chesapeake Bay: Special despatch 
concerning, I. 410. Defence of 
mouth of, XL 288. Importance 
of keeping open, 290. 

Chesapeake Frigate: Proclamation 
concerning, I. 409; X. 434. 
Capture of, by Leopard, X. 432, 
456, 511. Demand for satisfac 
tion, 467. Reasons for pro 
crastination concerning, 470, 

Christianity (see also JESUS 
CHRIST): Part of the common 
law, I. 453. Jefferson s views 
upon, IX. 148. 

Church: Definition of, II. 265. 


1793, ii December, VIII. 94 


1792, October, VII. 154 

1793. 7 June, 372 
27 November, VIII. 78 

CICERO, letters of, XII. 151. 

Cincinnati, Society of the: Confer 
ence between Washington and 
Jefferson regarding, I. 168. 
References to, IV. 323, 347. 
Eagle of, 370. History of, 
V. 49. Criticism of, 52, 221. 
European disapproval of, 222. 
Letter to De Grasse concerning, 
383. Compared with Demo 
cratic societies, VIII. 156. 
Washington s views upon, XL 
122. Jefferson s opinion of, XI I. 

Cities: Evils of, IV. 86. Jeffer 
son s dislike of, IX. 147. 

Citizenship: Duties of, II. 346. A 
personal or property right, V. 
194. Definition of, X. 15. How 
acquired, 273. 

Thomas Jefferson 


Civil Service (see also Office 
holders; Removal) : In Depart 
ment of State, VI. 31, 45, 52, 
121, 174, 456. Necessity for, 
XII. 164. 


1806, 27 April, X. 253 

1780, 25 December, III. 96 

1781, 31 January, 158 

13 February, 167 

19 177 
Western expedition of, II. 378; 

445; III. 9, 23, 58, 88, 94, 96, 
167. Jefferson s opinion of, 

VI. 210. 

Classics, I. 79; IV. 62, 67. Jeffer 
son s opinion of, XII. 140. 


1787, 6 July, V. 297 


1790, 27 January, VI. 29 

1792, ii September, VII. 150 

1807, ii January, X. 338 
1809, 15 December, XI. 94 
1817, 12 July, XII. 74 


[1817, 12 July,] XII. 74 

Clergy: Privilege of, V. 47. Jef 
ferson s changed views concern 
ing political exclusion of, IX. 
143. Jefferson s dislike of, XI. 
507. Scheme for systematic ex 
tension of the, 508. 

Climate: Effect of, III. 416. Im 
portance of, IX. 168, 170. 


1803, 2 December, X. 54 

1804, 6 October, 104 
1807, 24 May, 401 
Pamphlet by, X. 401. Fall of, 

XI. 37. 

1801, 17 May, IX. 254 

VII. 103, 123, 127. Dishonor 
able conduct of, 128. Vote 
for, 196. Estrangement from 
Jefferson, XI. 10. Failing 
mind of, 212. 

Coast Defence: Right of East to, 
X. 267. Message upon, XI. 23. 
Progress of, 30, 67. 

Coast Line: Limits of jurisdiction, 

VIII. 52, 60, 61, 75. 

Cockades: Political use of, VIII. 
418. Riot caused by, 418. 

Coinage: Unit of, V. 240. 

Coins, Foreign: Legislation con 
cerning, VIII. 349, 350. 

Cold: Amount of suffering caused 
by, IX. 170. 


1814, 25 August, XI. 416 

Colonies: Granting of, II. 66. 
Union of, 88. Relation to Great 
Britain, IV. 5-17. Ancient 
views concerning, V. 124. Par 
liamentary powers over, 187. 
Assumption of rights over, by 
Britain, 194. 

Colonization: Proposed slave, IX. 
3 I 5374,3. 8 4- Article upon pro 
posed African, XII. 334. 

Columbia River: Fur trading-post 
on the, XI. 244. 

COLUMBUS, portrait of, V. 384. 


1 8 10, 20 September, XI. 146 

Commerce, Domestic, IV. 245, 267. 
Western routes of, III. 354, 


Commerce, Foreign: Dangers of, 
IV. 99; VI. 2 73; XI. 537. Free 
dom of, IV. 99. Treaties of, 
185, 187, 189, 274, 350, 352, 
3675X11.467. WithWest Indies, 

IV. 397, 417, 423, 497; V. 142; 
VI. 293, 362; VII. 105. Nego 
tiations concerning, IV. 397; 

V. 96, 101; VI. 338, 341, 345. 
With France, IV. 453, 481; V. 
140, 165, 292 ; VI. 352, 403 ; VII. 
1 1 1 ; VIII. 268. With Portugal, 
IV. 453; VII. 266. Congress 
should be given power over, IV. 
418, 459, 469, 493; V. ii. With 
Sweden, V. 124. Restrictions 
upon, VI. 86, 273, 275; VII. 
235; VIII. 98, 127, 135; XL 85. 
With Great Britain, VI. 404, 
475. 477; VIII. 4. Jefferson s 
reports on, VII. 234, 243 ; VIII. 
98, 127, 135. Madison s speeches 
on, VIII. 137, 139. An instru 
ment for coercing Europe, 293. 
Depredations upon, 306, 316; 
X. 187, 198, 203, 530. Armed, 
VIII. 363, 366, 384; X. 152. 
How to benefit American, VIII. 


The Writings of 

Commerce, Foreign Continued. 
267. French decree concerning, 
381, 384, 386. Voluntary sus 
pension of, X. 455. Frauds in, 
531. Orders in Council con 
cerning, XL 9, ii2. European 
decrees concerning, 57. Pe 
culiar vices of, XII. 94. 

Commerce, Neutral (see also Neu 
trality): Rights of, X. 223, 247, 
250; XI. 97. Course of U. S. 
concerning, X. 247. Right of 
search of, 283. 

Committee of States: Plan of, I. 84. 
Experiment of, IV. 229, 235; 
XI. 183. 

Committees of Correspondence: 
Origin of, XL 513. 


1791, 30 August, VI. 310 

Pamphlets of, V. 426. 

Confederation: Failure of, I. 117. 
The best government that has 
ever existed, V. 318. 

Confederation, Articles of, I. 43. 
Debates on, 44. Representa 
tion under, II. 305; V. 18. De 
scription of, 8. Defects of, 21. 
System of requisitions under, 
36. Franklin s, 199. Jealousy 
of government exhibited in, 
VIII. 207. 

Congress: Corrupt members of, I. 
175, 251; VI. 490; VII. 101, 
T 39 2 53> Right of, to 
call for papers, I. 214. Beck- 
ley s list of corrupt members 
of, 262. Genet s threat to ap 
peal to, 284. Special sessions 
of, 309, 411; VIII. 300, 307, 
315; X. 456; XL 90, 95. How 
shall communications from the 
President be made to? VI. 38. 
Right of adjournment of, 96, 
97. Election of, 154. Defence 
of members of, VII. 98. Neg 
atives proposition for heads 
of departments to attend, 179, 
191. Republicanization of, 191. 
War power of, 250. Convening 
of, 465, 474. Question whether 
the President may convene at 
unusual place, VIII. 55, 57. 
Possibly adjournment of, 58. 
Proceedings in , 296, 299. S^ome- 

what warlike, 305. Right of 
constituents to correspond with 
members of, 324, 339. Scan 
dalous scene during debate in, 
IX. 60. Proceedings in, con 
cerning Presidential election of 
1800, 176, 178, 182, 185. De 
bate in, on Robbins case, 241. 
Inefficiency of, 415. Long and 
uneasy session of, X. 252. Lack 
of talent in, 371. Unfortunate 
number of lawyers in, XL 226. 
Qualifications for members of, 
379. Public indignation at in 
crease of salaries of, XII. 35, 70. 

Congress, Library of: Offer of Jef 
ferson s books to, XL 427, 431. 
Purchase of Jefferson s books, 

Congress, Continental: Committee 
of, at Headquarters, 
1780, 2 July, III. 29 

Congress, Continental: President of , 
1776, ii October, II. 251 

1779, 19 June, 447 

25 September, 463 

1 6 November, 486 

1 6 December, 492 

3 5<> 

1780, 9 February, III. 3 

9 June, 15 

15 24 

28 25 

2 July, 28 

27 34 

3 September, 45 

6 47 
_ 8 48 

14 5 2 

14 October, 59 
22 63 

25 65 

26 66 

3 November, 69 
- 10 74 

19 77 

1781, 10 January, 119 

15 126 

17 ~ J 3 6 

8 February, 164 

26 187 

8 March, 206 

21 226 

3 r 236 

23 April, 261 

Thomas Jefferson 


Congress , Continental Continued . 
Proposition for annual, I. 13. 
Jefferson attends, 17. Declara 
tion of, on taking up arms, 17; 
II. no. Reply of, to Lord 
North s resolution, I. 19; II. 
125. Debates of, on Independ 
ence, I. 20. Resolve of May 15, 
1776, 22; II. 153. Association 
of, II. 93, 290. Drafts of papers 
for, 110-149, 154249; IV. 189 
352. Committee of, II. 149. Elec 
tion of delegates to, 220, 234. 
Rotation in, 220; IV. 165. Bill 
regulating appointments of dele 
gates, II. 302. Journal of, 305. 
Action on resolutions of, 111.34. 
Seat of, IV. 174,243,314,319, 
321, 330. Unfinished business 
of, 181. Representation in, 203, 
208, 210, 220, 242, 266, 271, 
296, 321. Subjects before, 220, 

333. 35 x - Committee of States 
of, 230, 235. Finances of, 
236,281. Civil list of, 259, 328. 
Removal of, 417. Pay of mem 
bers of, V. 28. Treatment of 
mutineers by, 39. Powers of, 
over State Legislatures, VII. 
17. Unparliamentary system 
of, IX. 115. Authorship of ad 
dresses and petitions of, XI. 

334. Proposed publication of 
papers of, XII. 339. Addresses 
of, 391. 

Connecticut: Elections in, VIII. 
420. Sweeping removals in, IX. 
266, 269. Political changes in, 
468. Influence of lawyers and 
clergy in, 468, 469. Unjust 
treatment of minority in, X. 
367. Prosecutions for libel in, 
XL 109, 387. 

Constitution, A: Meaning of, IV. 
25. Project for proposed, XI. 
117. Outline of proposed, for 
South American republics, 519. 
Should be periodically amended, 
XII. 12. Must be based on con 
sent of people, 352. 

Constitution, Federal (see also Bill 
of Rights} : Jefferson s disap 
proval of, I. 118; V. 365, 406. 
Jefferson s views on, I. 118; V. 
357. 3 6 5. 379. 3 8 7. 392, 400, 

406, 456; VII. 141, 165; IX. 17, 
381. Advice in formation of, 
V. 227. Jefferson s outline of, 
318, 332, 340. Powerfully at 
tacked in the American papers, 

365. Action of States upon, 

366. Probable adoption of, 384. 
Lack of a Bill of Rights in, 389, 
406. Amendments proposed by 
Massachusetts, 401. Ratifica 
tion of, 404, 429. Opposition 
to, 405. A good canvas in need 
of retouching, 426. Consid 
ered a model for France, 491. 
Amendments to, VI. 24, 40; 
VIII. 361. Anti-Federalists un 
reconciled to, VI. 24. General 
clauses of, 198; VII. 139; IX. 
132, 133; XL 489. Influences 
in composition of, VIII. 207. 
Mixed character of, 281. Prin 
ciples of union under, 458. Vio 
lations of, 462; IX. 46. At 
tack upon, intended, 65. In 
roads upon, 73. Proposed 
amendment concerning election 
of President, 126. Jefferson s 
plan for a declaration concern 
ing, 139. True theory concern 
ing, 139. In relation to internal 
improvements, 398. Books 
upon, 405. Proposed Louisiana 
amendment to, X. 3. Religious 
freedom under, XL 7. Clause 
concerning obligation of con 
tracts, 472. Question as to in 
ternal improvement under, XII. 
7 1 . Difficulty of amending, 303. 
Limitations in, 418. Miscon 
struction of general clauses of, 

Constitutionality: Where decision 
of, vests, X. 89; XL 473. Right 
of each department to decide 
as to, XII. 138. Does decision 
of, rest with judiciary? 162. 

Consuls: Convention with France 
concerning, I. 127. American, 
in France, IV. 374. Rules gov 
erning commissions of, VIII. 
88, 89. 

Consuls, French: Jurisdiction of, 
VII. 167. Non-payment of , 201. 
Violent conduct of, VIII. n. 
Illegal proceedings of, 22, 23, 

49 6 

The \Yritiiigs of 

. Circular letter to, 31. 

"r : .;>: ~ . : -. ~ .~ :. .". 
Case of, 75. District attorneys 

- .- _^m ~- : ^ _::".:: v. ^~.: :.. r- . : 


umlimmiLm Qmda, II. 47 x ; HL 15, 
34, 126 501. 

- :-. - .V -.- -: .: : : r.i:f-f 
II. 277. 337; III. 30. Retains 
ol. II. 488. 

anlfaband of War, VIII 84. 
Seizure of. VII. 422. Right of 
search for, IX. 298. What 
constitutes, X. 270. 

XL 472 


fv.~ .r.L 

.: - :: - 

son s 

clause in. 343. Should 
S. one as to foreign 
r :.-.- .: iistinr: ::: i:- 
irliirs. V. 226. Jeffer- 
pproval of, 318. 


. 350. 

"- - 3 - . 

n ;C2. Have set up a 

kite 10 keep tie hen-ysjxl in 
order. 562. J erersc-n s high 
r. or ~em:>ers of, 379- 
: ~ rr^rchy in. VI. 490. 

VIII. 2-,2. Prc-ossl 
iT:i:es in IX f 

IX. 175. 179 

rtwm Prisoners. II. 350. 486, 
501; HI. 66. 73. 83, 104, 129, 
156, 237. 
ConvfHtums. American, IV. 28. 

America, V. 32. 

I : : : - -i -i:-~ 
1 5-x. 2 4 October. XII. 381 

_ * \ : i ji - 1 T n v r f i n 

XII. 3*52. 
C : _ : : - z ! I : ; : : 2 : :-: 

1826. 5 June. XII. 471 


1802. 29 November, IX. 402 
1807. 9 July. X. 450 

10 Fefarary. L 454 

182;. 2 November. XII. 270 
1823, ii December, 328 
Settling of. VIII. 148. Pam 
phlet of. IX. 1 28. 
Copper Coinage: Bffl altering, I. 


Copying Press. V. 240. 361. 
Cork TVnr.-Jefferson s endeavor to 

CORNWALL is. movements of, III. 

70, 73, 168. 173, 187. 192. 270, 

28^.29^. Destruction of Jefier- 

son s crops and barns by. V. 

420. Character of. 421. 
CORNY. MME. DE. misfortune of, 

\ II. 154: \ III. 78- 

1820. 24 October, XII. 166 

Appointment of, 3TT 036. Si 
lence cf. XII. 265. 

1705- 21 May VII. 558 


1786, 12 October, V. 201 

i; 217 

doom of. VTI. 155. Enters 

convent. Vill. 78. 
Cotton: Now a product of the 

Southern States, V. 166. Man- 
: :: _r^ ? ::. in .-::. :~ : _: - 

Tererson plans to raise, 417. 
Cotton Gin: Invention of. VIII. 

CcmKctl. Orders in (see Gnat 

Couns: BiH to establish county, 

II. 286. Distinction between 

common law and chancery. IV. 

473. Injustice of State,* VLI. 

Coxz. TZXCH. 

1794. i May, VUI. 147 

1795. i June, :S2 
12 September, 189 

: : : : : 
: *:- ; : 

:: : 

: \-~- 176 

^:-~ ^7 II r: : 

of. VI. 287. Re 

III. 351. News 

les of. 381. Pro 

rt newspaper for, 

Thomas Jefferson 



1815. ii February, XI. 450 
1816.20 June, 536 

1818, 10 November, XII. 100 
Attack on, XII. 356. 

Creation: Jefferson s viu* on, V 

Credit: Jefferson MiggraU aboli 
tion of all, V. 309. Rise in 
American, VI 79, 81, 89, 297. 
Value of public, 81. 

Creek Indians: Puiyoaed expedi 
tion against, I. 321. Commerce 
of, VI. 109. Attempt to excite, 
344.. Spanish machinations 
among, VII. 133, 169, 172, 408, 
426. Policy oil U. S. towards, 
169, 173. Depredations of, in 
Georgia, 347. War with, 408, 
426. Jefferson s desire for vo 
cabulary of, EX. 124. 

OKBSAP, CAPT., III. 444-4? ?; 
VIII. 700 ; IX. 09. Character 
of, VIII. 301. How far con- 

-:.-: :-. r.-._ri--r : 1 /_r. 
kin, IX. 71. 

1786. ii July, V. 138 

.". ~~. .. --.--.--.; ---.-.:~: 

11.291. Bffl proportioning pun 
ishment for, 393. Highway rob 
bery unknown in ATnerira.V 297 . 

.-:::":!. _~ : ".V- ._: : .-. . _. I 

ern, V. 48. 

1806, 13 May, X. 265 

Cuba: Attitude of U. S. towards, 

I. 424. Probable aAKtinn .to 

American Union, X. 477; XII. 

161. Future of, XI. 55; XII. 

293. Delicate qursliim as to. 

XLio6. Independence of. XII. 

282. News of, 297. Should be 

~ :: Y - :.: 
T _ :- - : i _~ A : 1 5 

- - : ~_- .:-.r- IV. 503 

4 CURTIUS," letters of. VIIL 101. 
CUSHIXG. WILLIAM, death of, XI. 

150. 153. 
CUTTING. J. B., aid to impresaed 

seamen, VI. 388. 



1814, 7 December, XI. 440 



XIL 56 

X. 231 

2 i6 


1817, 2 May, 
L A i ; ; : ~ . ; i > 

1806, 15 February, 

12 September. 

; ;_ : - . ^ XIL 331 


1807, 17 August, X. 478 

Changed politics of, VIIL 369. 
.. . .: i\-. I .-. . ~- - . . _- 

DEAXE, SILAS, poverty of. V. 
494. Wish of. that the *+***** 
were an ocean of fire, YIIL 287. 


1 80 1, 1 8 February, IX. 154 

1*02. 22 \<*embrr, 

1805. JI T^fff " n*r. 7L 2i: 

1806, 6 January, 219 

12 December, 

- - 


22 Tune. 




: : " - ^_~ 

2* 1^7 

; Aurun. 

. -V - . 


XII 2= 

one generation. VI. 6: XL 297. 

~ - " - " . " " : - 7". --. . " _ - 

tions, VII. 102. 

Debt, U. S. (see also Assumption; 
HAMILTOX).V.22.486; VII. 124: 
VHI.244. Purchase of French. 
I. 125; V. 291. 316, 321. 376; 
VI. 112. 288. Certain pay 
ment of, IV. 443. Distinction 


The Writings of 

Debt, U. S. Continued. 

between foreign and domes 
tic, 443. Description of, 470. 
Time to supply means for pay 
ment of, V. 138. Measures taken 
concerning, 170. Western lands 
will pay domestic, 376. Fund 
ing of foreign, 436. Solidity of, 
486. Assignment of, VI. 67. 
Funding of domestic, 78; XI. 
374. Embarrassed by assump 
tion, VI. 83 . Opinion on foreign, 
131, 243. Arrangements for, 
138. Situation of, 306. French, 
403. Sacredness of, 479. Evils 
of, 488. Comparison with debts 
of other countries, VII. 124. 
Jefferson accused of desiring 
not to pay, 141, 142. Proposed 
clause concerning, 181. Charge 
that the Republicans oppose 
payment of, 191. Jefferson s 
opinion upon use of foreign 
loans, 270, 272. Washington s 
instructions concerning, 271. 
Modifications of French, 359. 
Genet s proposition concerning, 
3 6 9>3773 8 5- Payment of, 391 ; 
IX. 336, 411; X. 39, 116, 130, 
316,525. Settlement of French , 
VII. 404. Affected by embargo, 

XI. 70. Extinguishment of , 7 1 , 
125. Jefferson s recommenda 
tions concerning, 297. Exor 
bitant rates of interest on, 301. 
Importance of payment of, 

XII. 207. 

Debts: Bill to suspend executions 
for, II, 294. Bill for speedy re 
covery of, 325. ^ 

Debts due British Citizens by 
Americans (see also Great Brit 
ain, Treaty of 1783), I. 220; 
IV. 185, 332; V. 96, 228. Pro 
ceedings of States in relation 
to, V. 17. Virginia s share of, 
28. Payment of, into State 
treasuries, 46. Jefferson s pri 
vate views on, 103. Views of 
English merchants on, 107. 
Question of interest on, 242, 
245. Clause in treaty of 1783 
concerning, VI 1 . 4 2 . State legis 
lation concerning, 47-52. Uni 
formly recognized by courts, 

60. Situation of, in 1792, 102. 
Case of Pagan, 280. 

Debts, State (see Assumption of 
State Debts ). 

"DECIUS," letters of, X, 286. 
Reply to, 290. 

Declaration of Independence (see 
Independence} . 

Declaration on Taking up Arms, 
I. 17 ; II. no. 


1816,26 July, XII. 28 

Delaware: Political change in, 
IX. 282, 284. Governorship of, 
369. Conduct of representa 
tives of, 369. Removals in, 376. 
Peculiar politics of, XII. 62. 

Democratic Societies: Menace of, 
I. 306. Washington s disap 
proval of, VIII. 156. Denun 
ciation of, 176. 

Denmark: Diplomatic agent from, 
VI. 137. Commercial restric 
tions of, 364. Status of Ameri 
can commerce with, VIII. 107. 

DENNIE, JOSEPH, a monarchist, 


Desertion: Proclamation to en 
courage British, III. 163. 
DESFOURNEAUX, letter of, IX. 
51. Negotiations of, on behalf 
of Guadaloupe, 47, 53. 

1 80 1, 20 February, IX. 186 

1801, 6 March, IX. 201 

23 July, 280 

1803, 9 August, X. 28 

1807, 13 January, 340 

Middle course of, I. 14. Decla 
ration on taking up arms, 
17; II. no. Arguments on 
independence, I. 21. Unsatis 
factory conduct of, V. 39. 
Farmers Letters of, 188. 
Attitude of, towards in 
dependence, 335, 337. 

1788, 19 June, V. 408 


with, IV. 103. 

Diplomatic Appointments, I. 186; 
VI. 211, 324, 360, 380. In 1790, 
54, 58, 145. Rotation in, 148; 
IX. 307. Message on, VI. 357. 

Thomas Jefferson 


Dipl. A ppointments Continued . 
Dislike of, 360, 381, 412. Ac 
tion of Senate upon, 364, 367. 
Silence of Jefferson upon, VII. 

Direct Tax, VIII. 152. Quibble 
concerning, VII. 195, 197. 
Proposition concerning, VIII. 
300. Repeal of, IX. 411. 

Dissenters, I. 61. 

Doctors: Value of, XII. 108. 

Doctors Riot, V. 407. 


1787, 28 July, V. 307 

1790, 29 August, VI. 145 

Suggested as Jefferson s agent, 
V. 310. 


Draft, Military: Unpopularity of, 
II. 304. 

Drawbacks: System of, XL 537. 

Droit d Aubaine: Discussion of, 
VI. 136. 

Drought: Excessive, XII. 37. 

Drunkenness: Much commoner in 
America than in Europe, V. 

!6 7 . 

DUANE, WILLIAM (see also Au 

1801, 23 May, IX. 255 

24 J M Uly, 


22 March, 
20 July, 
13 No 










1811, 28 March, 

30 April 

1812, 4 August, 

i October, 
1824, 31 May, 

Prosecution of, IX. 256, 257. 
Financial difficulties of, XI. 
189. Defection from Repub 
lican party, XII. 316. For 
mer services of, 316. Jeffer 
son requests appointment 
for, 317. 

DUER, WILLIAM, alleged threat of, 
I. 248, 267. Check to, VI. 408. 
Failure of, 472. Threats 
against, 479. Jefferson s sus 
picion against, VII. 251. 
DUMAS, 0. W. F., 

1786, 2 February, III. 324 

1790, 23 June, VI. 81 

13 July, 95 
1792, 3 June, VII. 99 

Agency of, IV. 374. Jefferson s 
opinion of, V. 112. Refer 
ences to, 287. U. S. position 
in Holland, 321. 

DUMOURIEZ, 0. F., rumors con 
cerning, VII. 344, 346. Deser 
tion of, 410. Apostasy of, 418. 

1 80 1, 12 January, IX. 170 

1803, 17 July, X. 19 

21 September, 20 

DUNMORE, LORD, movements of, 

in Virginia, V. 199. 
Du PLAINE, CONSUL, violent con 
duct of, VIII. ii, 14. 

1802, 18 January, IX. 342 

1803, i February, - 436 

1807, 14 July, X. 460 

1811,15 April, XI. 196 

1816, 24 519 

Friendly conduct of, V. 358. 

Arrival of, IX. 94. 
Duties (see Tariff). 

East Indies: News from, VI. 252. 
Eastern States (see New England). 
EBELING, PROF., information for, 

VIII. 205. 

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction in Va., 
II. 17- 

EDEN, WILLIAM, dislike of Amer 
ica, V. 348. 

EDGEWORTH, MARIA, moral tales 
of, XL 208. 

Education: Bill to increase, II. 
414; V. 153. System of, IV. 
60. Years for, 63. Political 
need for, 64. Jefferson s advice 
to Randolph concerning, V. 
174. Approval of, VIII. 163. 
Importance of, in a democracy, 

IX. 143. Possible use of sur 
plus revenue for, X. 317. Plan 
of elementary, for Virginia, XL 
448. Tax for public, 497. Bill 
for XII. 23. General system of , 
for Virginia, 77. 


1793, 8 May, VII. 321 

30 December, VIII. 134 

1797, 22 January, VIII. 276 

The Writings of 


1801, 29 March, IX. 245 

21 July, 278 

Elk, American: Buffon s desire to 
obtain, V. 75. Jefferson s gift 
of, to Buffon, 352. 


1803, 19 May, IX. 466 


1806, i November, X. 299 

ELLSWORTH, OLIVER, nomination 
to French mission, IX. 60, 62. 
Resigns Chief -Justiceship, 159. 

Embargo: Application of, I. 421. 
Proclamation of 1779, II. 491. 

Embargo of 1808: An alternative 
of war, VII. 250; XI. 30. Prop 
osition for, VIII. 148, 150. 
Senate rejects bill for, 320. 
Supplementary law, XI. 24. 
Effect of, 31, 69. Merits of, 40. 
Neglect of New England to 
enforce, 40. Rules governing 
vessels under, 41-44. Frauds 
under, 41, 46, 74. Liking of 
Napoleon for, 5 1 . Rumor of a 
repeal of, 75. A weapon against 
Europe, 85. Circular letter con 
cerning, 87. Special session of 
Congress for action on, 90, 95. 
Has federalized New England, 
90, 103. Revolution of opinion 
concerning, 97. Sudden repeal 
of, 97, 101. Evil of repeal of, 
143. A preliminary to the dec 
laration of war, 233. Predicted 
effect of continuance of, 478. 
Jefferson s consultation with J. 
Q. Adams concerning, XII. 
420, 426. Circumstances gov 
erning abandonment of, 423. 

Encyclopedic Methodique, IV. 376, 
380, 424, 504; V. 80. Jeffer 
son s revision of, V. 3. Article 
on U. S. in, 168, 171, 180, 183, 


Enemy s property under law of 

nations, VII. 14. 
England: Jefferson s trip to, V. 

86, 99. 

Entail in Va., I. 58, 68, 112. 
EPICURUS, Jefferson a believer in, 

XII. 140. Doctrines of, 144. 
Episcopacy: Fundamentals of, II. 


Episcopal Church (see Estab 
lished Church). 


I 775 26 June, II. 107 

4 July, 1 08 

10 October, 137 

24 i 39 

7 November, 141 

21 142 

J 77 6 J 5 J u ly 221 

23 23 i 

9 August, 235 
1783, 14 January, IV. 123 

- 4 March, 141 

1790, 4 July, VI. 84 

25 106 

1792, 14 April, 478 
J 793. l6 January, VII. 213 


1821, 19 January, XII. 194 

Bequest to, XII. 478. 

1793, 23 May, VII. 341 
1797, 21 December, VIII. 346 
1807, 28 May, X. 412 

12 July, - 457 

1 8 10, 17 January, XI. 129 

1811, 5 159 

1813, 24 June, 297 

n September, 306 

6 November, 315 

1814, 9 September, 422 

1800, 17 January, IX. 92 

1 80 1, 4 January, 166 
Death of, X. 86. 

Equity: System of, VII. 126. 

Erie Canal: Cutting of, XII. 69. 

ERSKINE, WILLIAM, Jefferson s 
interview with, I. 424. Letter 
of, X. 474. Desires communi 
cation with British ships, 479. 

Escheat: Bill concerning, II. 365, 
387, 448. 

Essence d Orient: Process a secret 
one, V. 155. 

Established Church, I. 61; II. 17. 

ESTAING, COUNT D , gift of Geor 
gia to, V. 81. 

Etiquette: Rules of governmental, 
X. 47. 

Europe: Politics of, 1785-7, I. 
113. A work-shop for America, 
IV. 86. Emigrants from, 87. 
Probable war in, 3 7 2 . Quiet in, 

Thomas Jefferson 


Europe Con tinned . 

391. Disrespect for America in, 
400; V. 79. Internal affairs of, 

IV. 416. Condition of, V. 74. 
Governments of, a preying of 
the rich on the poor, 253. Com 
parison with America, a com 
parison of hell and heaven, 332. 
News of, 332, 358, 398, 402, 
464; VI. 47. All going to war, 

V. 339. Future of, not deci 
pherable ,377. General war in , 
VII. 266. Redivision of, VIII. 
378. Avoidance of political 
connection with, IX. 308. Res 
toration of peace to, 407. Out 
break of war in, X. 41, 178, 
179. Suspension of intercourse 
with, XI. 30. Violation of 
rights by, 214. Revolutionary 
ferment in, XII. 185, 190. Can 
nibals of, 239. Affairs of, 257. 
Jefferson s speculations con 
cerning future of, 281. Predic 
tion of revolutions in, 281. 
Interference in, 292. U. S. 
should stand apart from, 292. 
Possible republicanization of, 


1826, 8 April, XII. 469 

Excise: Proposed, VI. 154. Law 
passed, 194. Unpopular in 
South, 211. Odious to people, 
489; VII. 338. Proclamation 
concerning, 153, 338. Impos 
sible to enforce, 338. Law com 
pared with Tea Act, VIII. 155. 
An infernal law, 157. An in 
strument for dismembering the 
Union, 158. A vexatious and 
unproductive tax, XI. 202. 
Jefferson s altered views con 
cerning, XII. 284. 

Executive (see also President} : 
Evil of dual, VIII. 2 1 8. Advan 
tages of singular over plural, 
XI. 183. 

Exercise: Necessity for, V. 178. 

Expatriation: Right of, IX. 341; 
X. 273; XII. 66. 

Extradition: Rules governing, VI. 
319. Difficulties presented by, 
409. Convention with Spain 
concerning, 445, 450, 460. 


Farmers General of France, IV. 
386; V. 137, 159. Negotiations 
with, IV. 498. Tobacco con 
tract of, V. 84. Tobacco con 
tract with Morris, 102, 109. 

Farming, American (see also 
Agriculture}: Degrees of skill 
in, VI. 76. Jefferson s pleasure 
in, VIII. 134, 145. 

FARRELL & JONES, Jefferson s 
debts to, V. 90, 235, 241, 244, 


Fast Day: Jefferson s refusal to 
appoint, XL 7. 

FAUCHET, CLAUDE, pamphlet by, 
VIII. 349. 35- 


Federal City (see Capital, Na 
tional; Washington, City of). 

Federal Courts (see also Judi 
ciary): In relation to State 
courts, V. 285. 

Federal Jurisdiction: Necessity 
for limiting, VI. 350. Tendency 
to encroach, 350. 

Federal Number, I. 47. 

"Federalist, The": Jefferson s 
opinion of, V. 433. 

Federalists: Tricks of, I. 180; IX. 
203. Monarchical tendency of, 
VI. 490, 493. Composition of, 
VIII. 208. Policy of, IX. 8, 
114. Action of, in Presidential 
election of 1800, 161, 162, 166. 
Public opinion setting against, 
135. Wonderful change in, 203. 
Jefferson s desire to conciliate, 
205. Great body of, are real 
republicans, 236; XI. 34. Divi 
sions among, IX. 236; XI. 276. 
Principles governing, IX. 268. 
To be distinguished from mon 
archists, 284. Despair of, 370. 
Compassing their own defeat, 
397. Slanders of, 397, 400; XI. 
76, 162. Endeavor of, to make 
the Louisiana question a per 
sonal one, IX. 442. Candidates 
for the Presidency, 450. Return 
of, to reason, 470. Number of 
removals of, X. 26. Proposed 
coalition of, with republicans, 
74. Disappearance of, 421; 


The Writings of 

Federalists Continued. 

XII. 62, 323. Obiects of, XII. 
254. Use of Washington as a 
stalking-horse, 369 

FENNO, JOHN, Toryism of Gazette 
of, VI. 255, 263, 290 


1791, 30 August, VI. 312 

Fiction: Value of, II. 12. Inor 
dinate passion for, XII. 91. In 
jurious effect of, 91. 


Filibustering: Cabinet opinion 
upon, VII. 257. Necessity for 
laws controlling, X. 313. Burr s 
scheme of, XI. 52. 

Finance, U. S. (see also Debt, U . 
S.; Funds, U. S.; Hamilton; 
Revenue, U . S.} : Questions as 
to, I. 269. In 1783, IV. 236. 
Effect of speculation on, VI. 
286, 308. New measures of, 

VII. 262. Derangement in, 

VIII. 222, 223; XL 452. Jeffer 
son s recommendations con 
cerning, 297. Objects of, 306. 
Proposed system of, 382, 432, 
437. Deficit in, XII. 185. 


1801, 24 March, IX. 224 

Fish: Trade in, IV. 486, 499. 

French arre ts relative to, V. 133. 
Fisheries: Possible loss of, XI. 

395. Contest for, XII. 107. 
Fish Oils, V. 294. 

1797, 4 June, VIII. 298 

1798, 23 February, 375 

1763, September, I. 444 

1764, 20 March, 450 
1773, 19 May, II. 38 
1776, i July, 197 
1779, 8 June, 373 

7 August, 462 

1781, 13 May, III. 279 


1791, 10 March, VI. 212 

Florida: Proposed purchase of, I. 
374, 382, 386; VII. 268; IX. 
418; X. 289. Rendition of fugi 
tive slaves from, VI. 212, 226, 
319. Invitation for American 
settlement of, 239. Boundary 
of, VII. 173; X. 20. Proposed 

seizure of, X. 476; XL 43, 44, 
50, 1 60. Delicate question as 
to, 1 06. Military seizures in, 
XII. 114. Certain to be part of 
the Union, 160. Spanish land 
grants in, 218. 

Flour: Grinding of, in U. S., V. 
1 66. New England frauds in 
licenses for importation of, XL 
40, 45, 74. Sale of, 234, 247. 
Price of, XII. 158. 

FLOYD, Miss, IV. 146, 171. 

Fluvana: Navigation of the, XI. 


Fontainebleau: Description of 
VIII. 194. 


1783, 7 February, IV. 133 

14 134 

14 135 

- * - - 136 

13 March, 142 

1786, 12 V. 85 

23 April, 95 

23 May, 112 

27 u6 

1787, 4 269 
1789, 30 September, VI. 16 

23 November, 21 
Foreigners (see also Alien Law; 

Asylum; Expatriation): Procla 
mation concerning, III. 161. 

Foreign Influence (see also Eu 
rope}: Article on, IX. 34. 

Foreign Missions: Principles gov 
erning U. S. as to, IX. 228- 
230, 307. Informal appoint 
ments to, by Washington, 349. 

1809, 4 October, XL 117 


1787, 31 December, V. 379 

Fossil Bones, III. 304; IV. 239; 

VIII. 253, 278. Discovery of, 

IX. 151. Jefferson s suggestion 
concerning, 373. 

FOSTER, A. J., negotiations with, 

XL 210. 

1801, 9 May, IX. 251 

Fox, 0. J., disgust of, with Prince 

of Wales, V. 443. 

Thomas Jefferson 


France (see also French; Berlin 
Decrees; BONAPARTE; Debt, U. 
S.; GENET; Farmers General; 
Privateers, French; X. Y. Z. 
Mission) : Jefferson s tour in, 
I. 109, 126. Noblesse of, 134. 
Constitution for, 141, 152. 
Proposed congratulations to, 
207,211. Pro posed commercial 
treaty with, 207, 255, 317; VI. 
335. 337, 402; VIII. 3. Wash 
ington s desire for closer con 
nection with, I. 247; VII. 204. 
Military successes of, I. 248; 

VII. 195, 453; VIII. 147, 306. 
Advances of money to, I. 248, 
259, 263; VI. 484; VII. 239, 
248, 259, 302. Governmental 
hostility to, I. 340. Alleged 
federal caucus concerning, 349. 
Commercial decrees of, 425; V. 
239; VI. 292, 312, 362; VII. 
246; VIII. 128, 290, 372; XI. 
19, 107, 150. Fleet of, II. 482; 
III. 169, 177, 181, 186, 197; 

VIII. 22. Aid from, III. 247. 
Condition of, IV. 381, 405, 424, 
426; V. 222. Enormous change 
in, 467. News of, VI. 37; VII. 
206; VIII. 1 8. Jefferson s pref 
erence to return to, VI. 39, 41. 
Probably involved in Anglo- 
Spanish difficulty, 115. U. S. 
commerce with, V. 226, 292; 
VII. 227. Opens her ports to 
American oils, V. 239. Cabinet 
changes in, 349, 357, 424. Pro 
posed transfer of debt due, 376. 
Sketch of a charter for, 479, 
481. Misfortunes of, 487. Pro 
posed constitution for, 488. 
Project for a colony in America, 
VI. 117. Objects to tonnage 
laws of the U. S., 175. Need of 
government in, 185. Tonnage 
duties of, 227. Friendly con 
duct of U. S. towards, in regard 
to San Domingo, 331. Ques 
tions in relation to, 337; VII. 
227. U. S. policy towards, VI. 
374; VII. 250. American debt 
to, VI. 402. Duties on wines of, 
484. Commercial retaliation 
against, 485. Suspension of 
payments to, VII. 162. What 

constitutes government of, 198, 
199. Famine in, 214. Notes on 
application of, 228. Becomes a 
republic, 247. Union of Powers 
against, 250. Execution of king 
of, 251. Changes in govern 
ment of, 259. War declared 
against, by England and Hol 
land, 275. Captures by, 282, 
301, 306, 312, 325, 330, 332; X. 
204; XII. 51, 107. Promises of , 

VII. 305. American sympathy 
with, 309. Defeat of forces of, 
310, 311. Adherents of, in 
U. S., 324, 410. Offers U. S. 
everything and asks nothing, 
337. Popular demonstration iri 
favor of, 341. Offers of, de 
clined, 346. Offences against 
other nations, 410. Improved 
condition of, 419. Probable dis 
gust of, 448. Treaty rights of, 

VIII. 38. Gloomy affairs of, 64. 
Friendly conduct of, 80. Status 
of American commerce with, 
103. Agreement of , to doctrine 
of "free ships, free goods," 121. 
Condition of laborers in, 194. 
Project to address President 
concerning war with, 265. 
Relations with, in 1797, 272. 
Unfriendly conduct of, 303. 
Refuses to declare war against 
U. S., 312. Pacific intentions 
of, 371. Vote on war with, 395, 
404, 406. Impossible to avoid 
war with, 414. Bill to permit 
capture of ships of, 427. Bill to 
suspend intercourse with, 434. 
Just cause for war against, 437. 
Conciliatory attitude of, IX. 4. 
Popular feeling against, 21. 
Non-intercourse bill against, 
33. Anxious for reconciliation, 
42. Measures of provocation 
against, 48. Bonaparte over 
turns Directory in, 101,106,111. 
Negotiations with, 144; XI. 57. 
New treaty with, IX. 157, 159, 
172, 295, 301, 305. Question of 
restoring prizes to, 277. Amity 
with, 357. Natural friend of 
U. S., 364. Government of, un 
friendly to U. S., 396. Condi 
tion of, not to be despaired of, 


The Writings of 

France Continued. 

402. Friendly measures of U. S. 
towards, X. 230. Apocryphal 
tale of U. S. making common 
cause with, XI. 36. Proposed 
non-intercourse with, 97. Re 
vocation of Berlin decrees, 107, 
150. Trial of plural executive 
in, 183. A den of robbers, 220. 
Folly of war with, 248. Revo 
lutionary experiments in, 455. 
Progress of Revolution in, 455. 
Condition of, 500; XII. 103. 
Change of monarchy in, XII. 44. 
Progress of, 61. Militarism 
in schools of, 77. Slow growth 
of freedom in, 310. 
Franking: Privilege of, XI. in. 
"FRANKLIN," writings under sig 
nature of, VII. 507; VIII. 12,32. 

1777, 13 August, II. 306 

1784, 19 June, f IV. 365 

Speech on Confederation, I. 50. 
Anecdote by, 85. Brevity of, 
90. Interview with, 159. 
Proposed attack on character 
of, 259. Tribute to, III. 459. 
Anecdotes of, 126; XII. 108. 
Enmity of Mazzei to, IV. 2 7 1 . 
Letter from, 273. Wounded 
at treatment of grandson, 
374, 431. Allowance as Min 
ister to France, 378; V. 395. 
Invents cylinder lamp, IV. 
380. American reception of, 
431, 455. Departure from 
France, 441. Quotation 
from letter of, V. 130. Value 
of conversations with, 156. 
Title of, of Doctor, 196. Pro 
posed articles of Confedera 
tion of, 199. Illness of, 431. 
Characterization of John 
Adams by, 485. Death of, 
VI. 54. Copy of Mitchell s 
map sent by, 155. Resolu 
tions of French Assembly on 
death of, 163, 207. Remi 
niscences of, 206. Govern 
mental observance of death 
of , X . 3 2 . Conduct in society, 

XI. 81. Political enemies of, 

XII. 1 06. Humane proposi 
tions of, concerning war, 467. 


1790, 16 July, VI. 105 

27 November, 155 
Interview with, I. 160. Wish 

of, for public office, IV. 374. 
Character of, 430. 

FRANKS, DAVID, IV. 374. Char 
acter of, 137; V. 259. 

FRAUNCES, A. G., case of, I. 278. 

"Free Ships, Free Goods 1 : Gen 
eral law of, VII. 457. Case of, 
458. Opinion upon, 460. Ex 
planation of the origin of, VIII. 
120. Principle of, IX. 296. 

French: Character of the, I. 157. 
Charm of the, IV. 426. Misun 
derstood in America, V. 224. 
Light character of, 263. Volun 
tarily leaving America, VIII. 
415, 425, 429. 

French Colonies: Probable action 
of, VI. 138. American com 
merce with, 139. Policy tow 
ards, 299. Future of, VII. no. 
U. S. guarantee of, 282, 288, 

French Consuls, Circular to the, 
I 793> 7 September, VIII. 41 

French Language: Value of, XII. 


1779, 10 November, II. 482 
1781, 12 April, III. 246 

1783, 7 February, IV. 132 

1791, 12 August, VI. 302 

i September, 316 

1792, 16 October, VII. 164 

23 167 

20 November, 181 

1793, 14 January, 212 

13 February, 234 

14 239 

17 245 

23 247 

5 Apnl, 274 

30 302 

3 May, - 307 

15 328 

22 340 

i June, 352 

5 362 

ii 377 

17 39 6 

17 401 

19 403 

Thomas Jefferson 



J 793. 19 June, VII. 404 

-23 407 

25 411 

29 422 
-29 423 

30 423 

1 2 July, 445 

24 45 6 

7 August, 468 
- 9 September, VIII. 34 

12 41 
li 5 3 46 

8 November, 60 

22 73 
_ 3 o 83 

9 December, 89 

3 1 J 35 
(See also GENET; FAUCHET): 

Reception of, VII. 281, 290. 


1786, 15 August, V. 157 

French Revolution (see also France; 
BONAPARTE): History of, I. 105, 
127. Assembly of, 1789, 141. 
Attack on Bastille, 145. Exe 
cution of Louis XVI., 149. 
Opinions upon, 338; V. 393; 
VII. 357; VIII. 173. Chieflyre- 
markable for the number of 
puns and bon-mots furnished, 
V. 263. Notables assemble, 263, 
434. Jefferson predicts, 317. 
Progress of, 454, 467; VI. 64, 
287, 309. Probable mistake of 
nobility in, V. 472. Few ob 
stacles encountered by, 477. 
Divisions of classes respecting, 
478. Jacobins the republicans 
of, VII. 202. Jefferson at 
tached to, 322. 

French Treaty of 1778: Questions 
as to, I. 267, 288; VII. 283, 301. 
Guarantees in, V. 364. Discus 
sion of clause in, VI. 135. 

FRENEAU, PHILIP, abuse of Wash 
ington in paper of, I. 274. Ap 
pointment of, 274. Offer of 
office to, VI. 257. Attempts of, 
to establish newspaper, 264. 
Appointment of, VII. 143. Es 
tablishes newspaper, 143. 
Newspaper of, circulating in 
Massachusetts, 179. Attacks 

on, 422. Gazette of, discon 
tinued, VIII. 57, 64. 

FREDERICK 1 1., approaching death 
of, V. 131. Works of, 446. 

Friction: Possible diminution of, 
VI. 188. 

Frontier Posts (see Posts, Fron 


1823, 2 December, XII. 326 



1807, 1 6 August, X. 477 

Marine experiments of, X. 450. 
Torpedoes of, 477. 

Funds, U. S. (see also Assump 
tion; Debt, U. S.; Finance, U. 
S.; HAMILTON; Revenue, U. S.}: 
Speculation in, VI. 363, 408. 
Fall in, 413; VII. 99, 261, 309. 

Fur Trade, IV. 483 ; V. 117. Voy 
age to develop, VI. 43. Loss of, 
through British retention of 
posts, VII. 45. Astor s post on 
the Columbia River, XI. 244. 

Gaelic Language, II. 36. 

GAGE, GEN. G. T., faith broken 

by, II. 121. Appointment of, 

V. 195- 

1807, 23 July, X. 472 

Complaints of, 472. 

GALBAUD, GOVERNOR, arrest of, 

I. 322. 

1801, 12 November, IX. 258 

28 August, 291 

1 8 September, 304 

28 November, 319 

14 322 

16 _ 322 

1802, i April, 358 

19 June, 379 

13 September, 394 

7 October, 395 

13 398 

3 August, 406 

1803, 10 February, 443 

28 March, 455 

January, X. 3 

1 2 July, 15 

25 26 

3 October, 35 

i? 35 

29 45 


The Writings of 


1803, 9 November, 

13 December, 
1804, 30 May, 

23 August, 

i September, 



2Q October, 

1805, 3 April, 

29 May, 

7 August, 

23 October, 

20 November, 



4 December, 

3 November, 

1806, 15 June, 



15 August 



3 1 

12 October, 

14 November, 

12 December, 


1807, 4 January, 


22 February, 

i June, 

Z 25 ! Jul^ 



21 October, 



22 November, 

1 8 December, 


1808, 31 March, 


2 April, 

25 October, 

ii August, 


30 October, 
1809, II 

1810, 27 September, 

1816, 8 

1817, 16 June, 

1818, 9 April, 

24 November, 
1820, 26 December, 

1822, 29 October, 

1823, 2 August, 











3 IO 







53 1 











Wish that he shall investigate 
public finances, VIII. 224. 

Notes on President s 
sage, Nov., 1801, 326. 

Speech of, 230; IX. 46, 61. 

marks on fourth annual mes 
sage, X. 1 06. Endeavor to 
alienate from Jefferson, 294. 
Notes for sixth annual mes 
sage, 306. Notes on gun-boat 
message, 365. Opinion of, on 
British negotiations, 484. 
Amendments to seventh an 
nual message, Oct. 21, 1807, 
506. Draft for eighth annual 
message, XI. 59. Jefferson s 
praise of, 124. Possible resig 
nation of, 124, 132, 137. 
Aurora s attacks on, 189. 
Jefferson s opinion of, 190. 
Approved of banks, 200. 

GALLOWAY, JOSEPH, value of tes 
timony of, XII. 122. 


1807, 21 October, X. 483 


1813, 19 February, XI. 280 

service money spent by, I. 337. 


1824, 14 February, XII. 341 




1781, 14 April, 
Gaspee Inquiry, I. 9. 

1780, 4 August, 

15 October, 



10 November, 


1781, 17 February, 

14 December, 
1784, 7 May, 

13 December, 
1797, 30 May, 
1798, 21 February, 
1 80 1, 8 March, 
1803, ii July, 

GEM, DR., 

1789, 6 September, 

Gene see Tract: Pamphlet 
scribing, VI. 275, 277. 

TER), appointment of, I. 254. 




25 1 







Thomas Jefferson 


GENET, E. C. Continued. 

Question as to receiving, 2 63 ; 
VII. 266. Expedition of 
Michaux, I. 281, 357. Scheme 
to conquer Louisiana, 281. 
Anger over Little Sarah, 282. 
Information from, 295. Ques 
tion as to governmental con 
duct towards, 297. Proposed 
request for recall of, 297, 305. 
Jefferson s conference with, 
298; II. 113. Proposed appeal 
against, I. 306. Draft of letter 
concerning, 315. Letters of, 
324, 331. Proposed dismissal 
of, 325, 326. Arrival of, ex 
pected, VII. 301, 310. Popular 
reception of, 336. Address to, 
336. Presents letters of cre 
dence, 337, 385. Proposition 
of, concerning U. S. debt to 
France, 369, 377, 385. Com 
missions issued by, 388. Mis 
taken conduct of, 417, 449, 464, 
477; VIII. 11,33,46, 73. Un 
fortunate appointment of, VII. 
436. Character of, 436. U. S. 
requests recall of, 464 ,477. As 
tonishing ignorance of interna 
tional law, 464. Proceedings of, 
482 ; VIII. 4. Opinion on recall 
of, 5. Appeal of, to public, 7, 
12. In j ury to republicans by , 1 2 . 
Jefferson suspects, of treachery, 
34. Statement concerning 
threat and appeal, 50. Public 
letter of, 59. Dislike of Presi 
dent, 59. Complaints against 
Gouverneur Morris, 93. Com 
plaint of libellous publication, 
119. Unpleasant transactions 
with, 134. Informed that his 
communications must be with 
the President, 135. Recall of, 139. 

Geneva Academy: Proposition to 
remove the, to U. S., VIII. 153, 

Geology: Jefferson s views upon, 

^ V - 343- 

GEORGE III., reception of Jeffer 
son, I. 97. Character of, V. 93. 
Jefferson s wish that his life 
should continue, 146. Tory 
education of, 194. Recovering 
his mind, 454. 

GEORGE IV., character of, while 
Prince of Wales, V. 441. 

Georgetown (see Capital, Na 

Georgia: Claim to lands in, IV. 
487,489. Gift of, to D Estaing, 
V. 81. Validity of land grants 
of, VI. 55. Spanish claim to, 
415, 419. Depredations of Creek 
Indians in, VII. 347. Suspen 
sion of judgments in, XL 471. 
Resistance to national govern 
ment by force of arms, XII. 
425, 429 


1791, 26 March, VI. 226 


1797, 13 May, VIII. 283 

21 June, - 313 
1799, 26 January, IX. 15 

1 80 1, 29 March, 240 

1802, 28 August, 390 
1804, 3 March, X. 73 
1812, ir June, XL 255 
Abuse of, I. 347. Named as 

special envoy to France, 
VIII. 313. Fear that he will 
refuse, 320. Negotiations of, 
in France, IX. 6, 10. Jeffer 
son urges him to make full 
statement concerning X. Y. 
Z. mission, 24. Despatches 
of, 27. Letters of, 36. Jef 
ferson s first meeting with, 
XL 255. Life of, XII. 274. 
Wavering conduct of, 275. 

1794, 17 December, VIII. 155 

1795, 27 April, - 172 
31 December, 201 

1796, 19 March, - 227 

1801, 23 IX. 222 

1802, 6 April, 361 
1807, 20 X. 383 
1823, 9 June, XII. 289 

29 August, 304 
1825, 25 December, 418 

26 424 
Resolutions of, I. 261; VII. 253. 

Jefferson s draft of resolu 
tions of, 220. 

1816, 7 June, XL 533 


1787, 12 August, V. 328 


The Writings of 

GILMER, GEORGE Continued. 
1790, 27 June, VI. 83 

1792, 15 December, VII. 194 

1793, 15 March, 262 
28 June, 417 


1815, 12 March, II. 331 

History of Virginia, XI. 511. 

GODFREY, T., inventor of quad 
rant, III. 460. 

GODWIN vs. LUNAN, case of, II. 

Gold and Silver: Respective value 
of, IV. 411; V. 240. 

GONZALEZ, BLAS, affairs of, VI. 


1817, 21 August, XII. 75 

GOODRICH, ELIZUR, appointment 
of, IX. 246, 286. 


1788, 16 July, V. 417 


1826, i January, XII. 429 


1793, 2 September, VIII. 14 

Government: Separation of de 
partments of, I. 117; IV. 19- 
21 ; V. 284, 319, 349. Indian 
system of, III. 494, 499. Cor 
ruption of, IV. 21. Defects of, 
64. Fallibility of, 79. Three 
forms of, V. 255. Monarchical, 
one of wolves over sheep, 255. 
First principle of, 349. How 
far may one generation bind 
another by? VI. 3. Republi 
can, the only just form of, 34. 
Books on, 63; X. 416. What 
constitutes, VII. 175, 199. How 
far diplomatic agents should 
recognize de facto, 176. Will of 
the nation the sole requisite of, 
198. Right of people to alter, 

425. Moral principles of, 522, 
528; XII. 43. Constant altera 
tion of, ii. Intention in es 
tablishing, 136. Relation of, 

Grand Jury: A part of judiciary 
system, VIII. 325, 338. 

Grange: Capture of ship, VII. 306, 

GRANGER, GIDEON (see also Post 
1800, 13 August, IX. 138 

1802, 29 30? 

1810, 22 October, XI. 155 

1814, 9 March, 383 

Recommended for Supreme 
Court judge, XI. 151. Ac 
cused of being a partisan of 
Burr, 385, 390. 


1788, 19 January, V. 383 

GRAYSON, WILLIAM, character of, 
V. 150.^ 

Great Britain (see also British; 
Canada; Commerce; Impress 
ment; Jay Treaty; Neutrality) : 
Dependence on, I. 7. Relations 
of Colonies to, 14; II. 42, 63 ; V. 
187; VII. 9. Mediation of, with 
Indians not to be accepted, I. 
20 1. Instructions concerning 
armed ships of, 345. Appoint 
ment of Pinkney to, 389. 
Treaty of 1806 with, 395, 407; 
X. 375, 380; XI. 12, 207. Out 
rages by armed ships of, I. 396. 
Negotiations with, 406; VI. 167, 
iQ5. 343i x - 3 2 o; XI. 20, 57. 
Preparation for war with, I. 
412, 415. Military preparations 
of, 425; VII. 263. Probable de 
claration of war with, I. 429. 
Illegal acts of Parliament of, II. 
71, 101, 115, 160, 203. Taxa 
tion of America by, 102, 126. 
Property of, in America, 365, 
375 3 8 7 44 8 - Cruelties of, 
373, 447, 455; III. 251; V. 68, 
195; XI. 355. Degeneracy of, 

III. 461. Colonial system of, 

IV. 5. Legislature of, 19. Cor 
ruption of government of, 65. 
Dislike of, for America, 265, 
2 73. 372; V. 92, 95. American 
commerce with, IV. 296; VII. 
237; VIII. 104. How to force a 
treaty from, IV. 373. Injustice 
of, 373. Affairs of, 396, 402, 
464; V. 100. Relations of U. S. 
with, IV. 409; V. 88. Disagree- 
ableness of people of, IV. 426. 
Abuse of America in press of, 

Thomas Jefferson 


Great Britain Continued. 

467. Conciliatory proposition 
of,V. 197. Ill conduct of , toward 
U. S., 348. Natural enemy of 
the U. S., 364. Possible war 
with Spain, VI. 84, 89, 90, in. 
Commercial policy of, 86, 242, 
246, 339; VII. 240, 243; XL 40, 
106, 136, 143, 210, 240. Design 
of, on Louisiana and Florida, 
VI. 90. Negotiations with, 
for exchanging ministers, 122. 
Course of the U. S. towards, in 
1790,141. How far she shall be 
informed of St. Clair expedi 
tion, 143. Conduct of, in Revo 
lution, 152. Impressments by, 
170, 172, 388, 389. Navigation 
act of, 220, 292. Warlike pro 
ceedings of, 248. American 
prejudices in favor of, 307. 
Questions concerning, 338. 
Disavows aid to Indians, 403. 
Policy towards, 404; VII. 140; 
VIII. ii. Commercial law of, 
VI. 475, 477. Understand 
ing with Spain, VII. 136. 
Anxiety lest she should seize 
Spanish- American possessions, 
268. Declares war against 
France, 275. Bankruptcies in, 
309. Conduct of, concerning 
neutrality, 310. Silence and re 
serve of, 361. Intentions of, 
415. Probable bankruptcy of, 
416; VIII. 290; XI. 215. Ad 
ditional instructions of, VIII. 
11,24,45,82. Friendly conduct 
of U. S. toward, 126. War feel 
ing against, 143. Special mis 
sion to, 143. Insults to U. S. 
from, 145. Jefferson s opinion 
of government of, 150. Mari 
time aggressions of, 236, 277; 
X. 256, 266, 434, 448, 454, 483, 
500, 502, 508, 514; XL 369. 
Countervailing act of, VIII. 
368, 372. Rumor of an alliance 
with, 392. Jefferson s desire for 
friendship with, X. 77. Design 
of, as to western hemisphere, 
138. Jefferson s outline of pro 
posed treaty with, 172, 176. 
Settlement of differences with, 
262, 272. Application of ships 

of, for stores, 270. Congratula 
tions from, on Louisiana pur 
chase, 280. Relations of U. S. 
with, 296. Interdiction of war 
ships of, from U. S. ports, 326. 
Histories of, 416. Chesapeake 
proclamation of, 434. Warlike 
conduct of armed ships of, 449, 
459, 467, 495. Critical state of 
relations with, 454. Probable 
war with, 457, 489. Deserters 
from, should not be enlisted, 
482. Conduct to be observed 
towards armed ships of, 484. 
Will probably not make repara 
tion for Chesapeake, 492. Mo 
tives for conduct of, 493. Com 
plaint against Capt. Porter, 494. 
Relations with, 503; XL 258. 
Reply of, relative to frigate 
Chesapeake, X. 529. Orders in 
Council of, XL 9, 51, 112, 210, 
265, 364. Proposed non-inter 
course with, 97. Folly and 
faithlessness of ministry of, 112. 
Jefferson s prophecies concern 
ing, 156. Course of, towards 
U. S., 162. A den of pirates, 
220. Declaration of war with, 
240,258. Motives for declaring 
war against, 338. Terms of 
peace with, 340. Government 
of, totally without morality, 
476. Necessity of reducing 
maritime power of, 476. Nego 
tiations with, to end impress 
ment, 482. Hopeless financial 
condition of, XII. 50. Selfish 
principles of, 64. Walsh s 
"Appeal from judgment of," 
156, 384. Double conduct of, 
293. U. S. should cherish 
cordial friendship with, 319. 
Equivocal conduct of, 373. 
Great Britain, Treaty of 1783, I. 
81, 85; IV. 135, 143; VII. 13. 
Discussion with Hammond con 
cerning, I. 219. Receipt of, IV. 
1 80. Report on, 183. Ratifica 
tion of, 184, 203, 212, 215, 216, 
219, 221, 240, 257. Resolution 
concerning, 189. Arrangements 
to completely execute, V. 
88. Negotiations concerning, 
VI. 123. Infringements of, 

The Writings of 

Great Britain Continued. 

1 66. Negotiations concerning, 

167. Letter to minister concern 
ing. 33 8 - Ratification of, VII. 
14. Negotiation of, 14, 90. 
Loyalist clause of, 16. Inexecu- 
tion of, 405; VIII. 24, 95. 
Slave clause of, 95. 


1781, 1 6 January, III. 134 

10 February, 166 

17 172 

i April, 241 
1785, 12 January, IV. 391 
Opinion of militia, I. 276. Char 
acter of, XII. 247. 


1809, 25 February, XI. 99 
Work of, on the negro, 120. 

GRISWOLD, ROGER, dirty affair of, 

n VIII. 395- 

1824, 10 January, XII. 331 

Guadaloupe: Massacre in, VII. 

Guilford: Battle of, I. 276. Use of 

militia in, 277. 
Gun Boats: Disposition of, I. 421. 

Building of, X. 41, 115; XI. 67. 

Progress in building of, X. 312, 

520. Special message on, 359. 

Model for an improvement in, 

492. Jefferson s belief in, 493; 

XL 288. 

Habeas Corpus: Importance of, V. 

HACKLEY, (?) , claim of, to 

lands in Florida, XII. 217. 
Halifax Expedition: Intentions of, 

I. 426, 429. 

1802, 6 July, IX. 377 


VI. 175 

1791, i January, 

1792, 5 March, 

24 June, 
1793, 27 March, 

i May, 


3 June, 










Conduct of, in Federal Conven 
tion, I. 170. Financial sys 

tem of, 171; VI. 37, 70, 186, 
244; VII. 152; IX. 358. A 
monarchist, I. 178, 243, 339. 
Admiration for British Con 
stitution, 180; VIII. 176- 
XL 167, 168; XII. 370. Con 
demns Adams writings, I. 
184; VI. 281. Discontent at 
financial policy of , I. 196,229. 
Direct reference of questions 
to, 198. Influence of, totter 
ing, 199. Trick of, 207. Close 
relations of, with Hammond, 
209. Injury done by financial 
system of, 232. An advocate 
for peace, 238. Alleged au 
thor of "Plain Truth," 243. 
Scandal with Reynolds, 247. 
Favors to merchants by, 265. 
Letter of, to Collectors of 
customs, 268; VII. 315, 323. 
Alleged monarchical plot of, 
I. 277. Genet s charge of cor 
ruption against, 295. Pro 
posed resignation of, 310. 
Opinion on French Revolu 
tion, 328. Terms Constitu 
tion a "federal monarchy," 
343. Prediction concerning 
France, 349. Alleged con 
duct at St. Andrew s dinner, 
351. Notes on report of, VI. 
133. Proposed duties on 
French imports, 335. Notes 
of , on Jefferson s report, 391. 
Notes of, on letter to British 
minister, VII. 3. Notes of , on 
Jefferson s letter, 98. Writes 
in defence of bank, 130. 
Terms the republican party a 
faction, 130. Dupes Jeffer 
son, 137. Criticism of his 
measures, 138. Interference 
of, in foreign affairs, 139141. 
Charges of, against Jefferson, 
141. Newspaper attacks of, 
on Jefferson, 151. Resolution 
to remove, 222. Secures in 
fluence of Jefferson in carry 
ing assumption, 224. Reports 
of, to Congress, 252. Wil 
liam Short warned against, 
269. Anglomania of, 309. 
Opinion of, on employing In 
dians, 356. Notes of, 404, 

Thomas Jefferson 

HAMILTON, ALEX. Continued. 
475. Letters of "Pacificus," 
420, 436. Urges appeal to 
people against Genet, 449. 
Opinion of, on calling Con 
gress, 465, 474. Letters of 
"No Jacobin," 474. Outline 
of letter of, on Genet, 475- 
478. A victim of the fever, 
VIII. 33. Cowardice of, 33. 
Illness of, 59. Share of, in 
Smith s speech, 141. Effort 
to save from disgrace, 144. 
Policy of, beyond under 
standing of President, 144. 
Servile copyist of Pitt, 176. 
Letters of "Camillus," 183, 
188, 190. Attack on, 184. 
Colossus of federalism, 192. 
Leaves public finances de 
ranged, 222, 223. Treaty- 
foundered, 253. Adams de 
tachment from, 267. Reply 
of, to Callender, 321. Un 
popularity of, 413. Writings 
of, 415. The real general of 
the provisional army, IX. 65. 
Political opinions of, XI. 131. 
Against secession, 277. A 
favorer of monarchy, XII. 

39 2 - 

HAMILTON, Gov. HENRY, case of, 
II. 376, 378, 380, 446, 452, 454, 
465-467, 490; III. 57, 165. 


1800, 22 April, IX. 129 


1791, 29 November, VI. 338 

5 December, 341 

12 344 

13 344 

1792, 2 February, 383 

12 April, - 474 
29 May, VII. 3 

1793, 13 February, 234 
- 16 243 

1 8 April, 279 

3 May, 306 

15 325 

5 June, 367 

13 382 

19 405 

26 412 

- 4M 

5 September, VIII. 18 

J 793> 9 September, VIII. 37 

22 48 

8 November, 62 

14 64 

15 December, 95 

26 125 
Arrival of, I. 191. Evidence of 

his close relations with Ham 
ilton ,210. Conversation with , 
219, 244; VI. 361; VII. 100. 
Revision of letter to, VI. 487. 
Angered by Jefferson s report 
on commerce, VII. 240, 243. 
"Hampden," papers of, XII. 135. 
Hampden Sidney Academy: Re 
ligious frenzy in, VI. 23. 
Hampshire, Va., County Lieuten 
ant of, 

1779, 17 August, II. 463 

HANCOCK, JOHN, constitutional 

proposition of, VII. 142. 
HANNIBAL, Jefferson s investiga 
tion of passage of, over the 
Alps, V. 338. 
Harbors: Bill for preserving peace 

in, X. 118. 
HARMER, GEORGE, Jefferson s 

opinion on wills of, V. 
1774, 9 December, 
1781, 29 January, 

7 February, 

22 April, - 258 
Speech on Confederation, I. 47. 

Courtship of, 440. Defeat of, 
II. 198. 

1793, 12 June, VII. 380 

Hartford Convention: Motives of, 

XI. 461. Ridiculous issue of, 


1785, 5 September, IV. 455 

1760, 14 January, I. 433 

1790, 25 July, VI. 107 




1821, 8 December, XII. 212 

HATFIELD, J. S., case of, VII. 64 


1787, 4 August, V. 320 

1800, 14 March, IX. 123 

1803, 1 8 February, 445 


II. 94 

III. 154 


ARREN, trial of, V. 


The Writings of 


1807, 20 May, 



2 June, 







7 August, 


7 September, 

X. 394 














20 499 

1823, 17 August, XII. 302 

U. S. counsel against Burr, X. 

"Helvetius" (see also MADISON), 

letters of, VIII. 12, 32. 

35 2 489- 

1807, 14 January, X. 342 

28 February, 342 


1778, 9 June, II. 343 

HENNIN (?), character of, V. 261. 

1797, 3i December, III. 446 

Mission of, IX. 347. 
HENRY, PATRICK (see Virginia, 
Governor of): Resolution on 
Stamp Act, I. 8; XI. 400, 401. 
On Gas pee inquiry, I. 10. 
Speech on Philips, II. 331. 
Opinion of, III. 306. Attitude 
on impost, IV. 147, 166. Fa 
vors Virginia Constitution, 
383; VII. 149, 164. Character 
of, IV. 401. Omnipotence of, in 
Virginia, V. 451. Proposed 
measure of, VI 23. Avowed 
enemy of Constitution, 24, 154. 
Interested in Yazoo specula 
tion, 250. Against a new Con 
stitution for Virginia, 350. 
Jefferson s feeling towards, 
VIII. 1 68. Jefferson s engage 
ment with, 171. Offered Sec 
retaryship of State, 222. As- 
sidious court paid to, 253. In 
fluence of, 296; IX. 70. Nomi 
nated to French mission, IX. 
60, 62. Apostasy of, 67. Jef 
ferson s recollections of, XI. 
228, 401; XII. 388. Wirt s life 
of, XII. 32, 87. Education of, 

33- Promoter of Revolution, 
87, 95, 119. 

Heretic: Definition of, II. 257. 

Hessians: Resolution to encourage 
desertions of, II. 248. 

tion concerning, I. 361. 


1785, 13 October, 



1786, 25 August, 
Character of, IV. 296. 

Holland: Parties in, I. no. Do 
mestic affairs of, IV. 390, 402, 
406; V. 287. Distractions of, V. 
305. Critical state of , 3 1 7 . In 
vasion of, 346. Lesson of, 350. 


1820, 22 April, XII. 158 


1 80 1, 24 January, IX. 172 

Hopewell: Treaty of, VI. 139. 

HOPKINS, S., speech on confedera 
tion, I. 55. 


1785, 25 September, III. 323 

1786, 6 July, 320 

14 August, V. 155 

1789, 13 March, 456 

Character of, IV. 361. 

Horses: Tax upon, VII. 195, 197. 


IV. 428. Salon of, XII. 394. 

HOUDON, employed to make 
statue of Washington, IV. 392, 
414,506; V. 81. Introduction of , 
IV. 437. Agreement with, 439. 
Illness of, 440. Proposed in 
scription for statue by, V. 81. 

HOWE, WILLIAM, case of, VI. 327. 
Report on, 329. 

Howell vs. Netherland: Case of, I. 




(see STAP- 

1790, 28 February, VI. 32 
HULL, WILLIAM, surrender of, XL 

268. Cowardice of, 271. 

1813, 6 December, XL 350 

1815, 13 June, XII. 68 


1789, 18 March, V. 467 

Thomas Jefferson 


1790, ii August, VI. 118 

1791, 15 March, 218 

ii April, 240 

23 June, 272 

23 August, 304 

1792, 9 April, 47 l 

1793, 22 March, VII. 266 

1809, 20 January, XI. 73 

Master of ceremonies at levees, 
I. 252. Arranges ceremo 
nial for Presidential ball, 
277. Recommendation of, V. 
iii;VI. in. Attacks on, V. 
451. Nomination of, as Min 
ister to Portugal, VI. 218. 
Appointment of, 290. Manu 
factory of, XI. 72. 

1817, 8 February, XII. 53 
HURT, JOHN, I. 15; II. 51. 

Illuminati: Absurd outcry con 
cerning, IX. 1 08. 

Immigration, V. 6, 32. Undesira- 
bility of, III. 487; IV. 87. 

Impeachment: Endeavor to intro 
duce juries into, VIII. 359, 361, 

Imports: Excessive American, 
XII. 50. 

Impost (see also Duties; Tariff), 
IV. 144, 351; V. 129. Granted 
by New York, V. 137. New 
York and the, 169. 

Impressment, British, I. 407, 409; 
VI. 170, 173, 388;VII. 157,315; 
VIII. 31; IX. 4, 408. Position 
of U. S. towards, VII. 106. 
Great Britain will not forego, 
359. Endeavor to save seamen 
from, VIII. 228. Jefferson s 
opinion upon, 228. Plea of 
Great Britain concerning, X. 
1 5 . Number of foreign seamen 
in American ships, 388. British 
orders concerning, 457. Want 
of regulation of, in Monroe 
treaty, XI. 13. Eternal war, or 
abandonment of, 451. Negoti 
ations of convention concern 
ing, 482. 

Indentured Servants: Description 
of, V. 33. 

Independence, American: Resolu 
tion for, I. 20. Debates on, 21; 

XI. 486. Vote on, I. 32. Effect 
of, on property rights, IV. 490. 
Galloway s statement concern 
ing, XII. 122. Never suggested 
before outbreak of Revolution, 
200. Opponents of, 311. Vir 
ginian instructions concerning, 

Independence, Declaration of: Con 
gressional proceedings on, V. 
190. History of, 334. Living 
signers of, XI. 221; XII. 205. 
Proposed picture of, XI. 280. 
Franklin s comments upon, 

XII. 109. Signing of, 123, 311. 
Pickering s statements con 
cerning, 306. Adams recollec 
tions of , 3 o 6 . O rigin of ideas in , 
307. Where written, 392, 413. 
Indictment in, 408. Purposes 
of, 409. Draft of, 412. Copies 
of, 412. 

Indian Antiquities, V. 342; VI. 
209. Remains of, III. 499. 
Fortifications of, V. 182. 

Indian Department: Head of, 
should reside at Washington, 
X. 482. 

Indian Lands: Right of pre 
emption to, I. 257. Intrusions 
upon, 423. Rights to, VI. 55, 
140, 302, 368. Attempts to 
seize, 224. Report on, 322. 
Encroachments upon, 455. 
Right of grants in, VII. 241. 
Cession of, X. 37, 114. 

Indian Languages, III. 495, 508- 
511; V. 182, 444. Vocabularies 
of, V. 320. Comparison be 
tween, 422. Jefferson s desire 
for vocabularies of, IX. 125, 

Indian Trade: Right to regulate, 
I. 225. Opinion on, VI. 109. 
Question arising under, X. 91. 
Formation of company to carry 
on, XI. 38. 

Indian Treaties, IV. 118; VII. 386. 

Indian War: Conduct of, I. 322. 
Statement concerning, VI. 376. 
Troops for, 407. Campaigns of, 
VII. 157, 428. Cabinet opinion 
on, 248. Policy of employing 

The Writings of 

Indian War Continued. 

Indians in, 354. Failure of cam 
paign in, VIII. 134- Prepara 
tions for, X. 486. 

Indians, American, I. 249; III. 
513. Cabinet consult action 
over, I. 199, 383. Refusal to 
admit mediation of Great Brit 
ain, 243. Condition of, 11.484; 
III. 418. Nature of, III. 438. 
Social organization of, 441. 
Virginian, 494. Government of, 
495; V. 227, 253, 255; XI. 535. 
Numbers of, III. 496. Burials 
of, 499-507. Origin of, 509; V. 
422. Compared with negro, IV. 
52. Mission among, 67. Nego 
tiations with, 262; IX. 410. 
Commissioners, IV. 331. Pro 
portion of warriors among, V. 
68. Iron unknown to, 182. As 
regards treaty rights, VI. 56. 
Method of keeping at peace 
with, 242. Message upon, 346; 
VII. 192. Disavowal of British 
machinations among, VI. 383. 
Spanish agent among, VII. 136, 
158. Spanish incitement of, to 
war, 159, 349. Theft of slaves 
by, 342. Peace with, 342. Se 
cret agent to, 353. Proceedings 
respecting, 406. Neutral atti 
tude of Great Britain toward, 
414. Rules of conduct toward, 
425. Jefferson s interest in, IX. 
124. U. S. relations with, 326; 
X. 314, 518; XI. 66. Policy 
toward, IX. 446; X. 131. Civi 
lization of, IX. 447; X. 194. 
Treatment of, X. 114. How far 
subject to U. S. laws, 219; XII. 
104. Excitement among, X. 
485. Traditions of, XL 250. 
Order of priesthood among, 252. 
Future of, 254. Endeavor to 
civilize, 353. Society for civi 
lizing, XII. 222. Interference 
with governmental policy to 
ward, 222. 

1824, 27 October, XII. 384 


1771, ii May, II. 9 

1772, ii June, 35 

1791, 7 March, VI. 209 

13 216 

1793, 23 May, VII. 342 

1799, 20 June, IX. 71 

1800, 23 January, 99 

1781, 22 February, III. 182 

21 April, 257 

- 2 May, 266 

Interest: Claim of British debtors 
to, VII. 82-89. 

Internal Improvements: Entering 
wedge of, VIII. 226. Public 
roads, X. 284. Use of surplus 
revenue for, 317; XL 71, 204. 
Popularity of, X. 530. Constitu 
tionality of, XII. 58, 71. Mania 
for, 69. Bill for, vetoed by 
President, 71. Livingston s 
speech on, 349. Proposed 
amendment of Constitution 
concerning, 350, 426, 430. Pub 
lic opinion strongly in favor of, 
416. Declaration and protest 
of Virginia against, 418. Pro 
tests against, 430. 

Iron: Unknown to the American 
Indians, V. 182. 

IRVINE, WILLIAM, alleged author 
ship of "Veritas," I. 279, 293. 


1795, 6 February, VIII. 163 


1789, 1 8 September, VI. 14 


1823, 18 December, XII. 329 
Not concerned in Burr s pro 
jects, X. 333. Conduct of, in 
Florida, XII. 116. Invita 
tion to Monticellp, 330. Can 
didacy for Presidency, 355. 
Jefferson s dislike of, 392. 
Jacobins: Jefferson s approval of, 

VII. 202, 


1781, 16 April, III. 253 


1820, 28 September, XII. 161 

JAUDENES, JOSEPH, arrival of, VI. 
271. Verbal communication of, 
342. Conversation with Jeffer 
son, 356, 378, 379. 

Thomas Jefferson 


1783, ii April, IV. 142 

1785, 23 August, 449 

1786, 2 January, 481 

-25 V. 72 

1787, 3 November, 357 

1789, January, 441 

1790, 14 February, VI. 31 
Littlepage controversy with, 

IV. 503, 507 ; V. 72. Diplomatic 
expenses of, V. 394. Genet s 
charge against, VIII. 119. 
Mission to Great Britain, 
143. Treaty-foundered, 253. 
Nominated Chief Justice, IX. 
159. Reason for not signing 
Declaration, XII. 311. 
Jay Treaty: Hamilton s opinion 
of, I. 336; VIII. 183. Not yet 
received, VIII. 177. Jefferson s 
disapproval of , 185, 191. Divi 
sions in Virginia over, 187, 189. 
Publication of, 189. Publica 
tions on, 192. A bold party 
stroke, 193. Debate in Vir 
ginia Assembly on, 197. Oppo 
sition of back regions to, 198. 
"An execrable thing," 200. Ac 
tion of House of Representa 
tives upon, 20 1. Universal 
feeling against, 221. Laid be 
fore Congress, 230. Adopted, 
252. Proceedings at Charleston 
upon, 297. Proceedings of com 
missioners under, IX. 7. Social 
schism caused by, 445. 

1786, 22 April, V. 94 
I. 5. Debt to, V. 310. 



1801, 27 March, IX. 238 


JEFFERSON, JOHN, of Virginia 

Company, I. 3. 

1790, ii June, VI. 70 

1810, 25 January, XI. 133 


III, 302. 





II. 38. 

I. 8, 80; II. 15, 137, 153, 221, 
231, 234, 373, 452; III. 


1785, 20 September, IV. 
1791, 31 March, VI. 

8 May, 

I. 5. Attachments of, V. 306. 

EFFERSON, THOMAS (ist), I. 4. 


Letters to, ? 

1776, 13 August, II. 

1778, 8 June, 

1780, 1 8 February, III. 

21 December, 

1781, 31 January, 





Miscellaneous Papers 

Autobiography, I. 3. 

The Anas, 163. 

Whether Christianity is part of 
the common law, 453. 

Argument of the case of Howell 
vs. Nether land, 470. 

Inscription for an African slave, 
II. 8. 

Agreement \vith John Ran 
dolph, 8. 

Argument in Godwin et al. vs. 
Lunan, 16. 

Advertisement in Virginia Ga 
zette, 38. 

Advertisement of land of John 
Wayles, 39. 

Notice of fast, 41. 

Resolutions of Albemarle 
County, 42. 

Proposed arms for the United 
States, 45. 

A Summary View of the Rights 
of British America, 49. 

The Writings of 


Defects in the Association, 93. 

Notes on Virginia- Pennsylvania 
boundary, 224. 

Notes on religion, 252. 

Extracts from diary, III. 105. 

Advertisement, 309. 

Notes on Virginia, 313. 

Proposed constitution for Vir 
ginia, IV. 147. 

Answers to questions pro 
pounded by Meusnier, V. 3. 

Observations on the article 
"Etats Unis" prepared for 
the Encyclopedic, 32. 

Answers to the queries of M. 
Soules, 184. 

Dialogue between the Head and 
Heart, 201. 

To the Editor of the Journal de 
Paris, 333. 

Proposed Charter for France, 

Notes on Arthur Young s let 
ter, VII. 113. 

Instructions to Michaux for ex 
ploring Western boundary, 

Notes for a constitution for Vir 
ginia, VIII. 159. 

Notes on Prof. Ebeling s letter, 

Contract concerning slaves, 242. 

Petition to Virginia House of 
Delegates concerning juries, 

Petition on election of jurors, 

45 1 - 

Drafts of Kentucky Resolu 
tions of 1798, 458. 

Services of Jefferson, IX. 163. 

Speech to the Senate, 189. 

Notes on Jefferson s conduct 
during the invasion of Vir 
ginia, X. 154. 

Reply to Nicholas criticisms, 

J 57- 

Circular letter concerning ap 
pointments, XI. 102. 

Address to the inhabitants of 
Albemarle County, 104. 

Recollections of Patrick Henry, 

Biographical sketch of Peyton 
Randolph, XII. 29. 

Anecdotes of Dr. Franklin, 108. 

Syllabus of the doctrines of 
Epicurus, 144. 

Plan for reducing the circulat 
ing medium, 150. 

Decalogue of canons for ob 
servation in private life, 406 

A solemn declaration and pro 
test of Virginia on the Con 
stitution, 418. 

Thoughts on lotteries, 435. 

Will, 478 

Inscription for tombstone, 483. 

Official Papers 

Virginia Assembly, 176975: 

Resolution of the Virginia 
House of Burgesses, I. 465. 

Address to Governor Dunmore 
from the House of Burgesses, 
II. 101. 

Virginia Convention, 1775-76: 

Motion in Convention of Vir 
ginia, II. 96. 

Draft of the resolution of the 
Virginia Convention, 97. 

Proposed constitution for Vir 
ginia, 158. 

Continental Congress, 1775-76: 

Declaration of Independence, 
I. 35; II. 199. 

Notes of debate on Indepen 
dence, I. 20. 

Notes of debate on Confedera 
tion, 43. 

Draft of Declaration on taking 
up arms, II. no. 

Draft of report on Lord North s 
motion, 125. 

Declaration concerning Ethan 
Allen, 145. 

Report to Congress on Congress 
Committee, 149. 

Report of Committee on Cana 
dian affairs, 154. 

Report on Cedars Cartel, 183. 

Report on Canadian affairs, 

Notes of rules for Continental 
Congress, 219. 

Thomas Jefferson 


Resolution for rotation of mem 
bers of Continental Congress, 

Resolution to encourage deser 
tions of Hessian officers, 248. 

Resolutions on peace proposi 
tions, 249. 

Virginia Assembly, 1776-79: 

Draft of a bill to abolish entails, 
II. 268. 

Draft of a bill to remove seat of 
government, 271. 

Draft of a bill for raising Conti 
nental troops, 277. 

Draft of a bill establishing 
county courts, 286. 

Draft of a bill for altering rates 
of copper coinage, 289. 

Report on Arthur Upshur, 289. 

A bill for the trial of offences 
committed out of this com 
monwealth, 291. 

Draft of a bill for suspending 
executions for debt, 294. 

Draft of a bill for providing 
against invasions and insur 
rections, 295. 

Draft of a bill for regulating the 
appointment of delegates to 
Congress, 302. 

First report on Conference Com 
mittee, 310. 

Second report on Conference 
Committee, 313. 

Draft of a bill giving certain 
powers to the Executive, 321. 

Draft of a bill designating 
places for holding courts of 
chancery and general court, 

3 2 3- 

A bill granting free pardon to 
certain offenders, 324. 

A bill for the speedy recovery 
of debts due the United 
States, 325. 

Draft of a bill for providing a 
supply for public exigencies, 

Bill to amend an act entitled 
"An act for raising a supply 
of money for public exigen 
cies," 328. 

Draft of a bill of attainder 
against Josiah Philips, 330. 

Resolutions concerning peace 
with England, 342. 

A bill for giving the members 
of the Assembly an adequate 
allowance, 347. 

A bill concerning escheats and 
forfeitures from British sub 
jects, 365. 

Speech to General Assembly, 

37 1 - 

Report of the Revisers, 383. 
A bill for withholding British 

property, 387. 

A bill concerning slaves, 390. 
A bill for proportioning crimes 

and punishments, 393. 
A bill for the more general 

diffusion of knowledge, 414. 
A bill for amending the constitu 
tion of the College of William 

and Mary, 426. 
A bill for establishing a public 

library, 436. 
A bill for establishing religious 

freedom, 438. 
Resolutions for the legislatures 

of Maryland and Virginia, 

IV. 3 19- 
Governor of Virginia, 1779-81: 

Proclamation concerning es 
cheats, II. 448. 

Proclamation laying embargo, 

Circular letters to county lieu 
tenants, III. 94, 111-113, 
140, 168, 170, 233, 249, 270. 

Proclamation concerning pa 
roles, 144. 

Circular letter to county magis 
trates, 146. 

Proclamation convening As 
sembly, 148. 

Circular letters to members of 
General Assembly, 149, 265. 

Proclamation concerning for 
eigners, 161. 

Circular letter concerning re 
moval of horses, 282. 

Continental Congress, 1783-84: 

Resolution relating to British 
treaty, IV. 189. 

The Writings of 


Report on letters from minis 
ters in Paris, 189. 

Report on ceremonial for Wash 
ington, 20 1. 

Report on ratification of treaty, 

Motion on ratification of treaty, 

Resolution on Definitive treaty, 

Ratification of Definitive 
treaty, 215. 

Draft for proclamation an 
nouncing ratification of De 
finitive treaty, 216. 

Draft of a report on the me 
morial of Zebulon Butler and 
others, 223. 

Report on letter from John 
Allan, 228. 

Draft of report on a Committee 
of the States, 229. 

Report on Committee of the 
States, 235. 

Draft of deed of cession of 
Northwest Territory, 249. 

Report on government for 
Western Territory, 251. 

Report on reduction of Civil 
List, 259. 

Instructions for negotiating 
with Indians, 262. 

Resolves on European treaties, 

Report on government for 
Western Territory, 275. 

Report on cession of Western 
Territory, 280. 

Report on arrears of interest, 

Notes on the establishment of a 
money unit and of a coinage 
for the U. S., 297. 

Motion on Steuben, 313. 

Notes on the permanent seat of 
Congress, 314. 

Resolve on Continental Con 
gress, 321. 

Report on Mercer, 334. 

Draft of "An ordinance estab 
lishing a land office for the 
U. S.," 334. 

Report on Continental bills of 
credit, 348. 

Instructions to the Ministers 
Plenipotentiary appointed to 
negotiate treaties of com 
merce with European na 
tions, 353. 

Minister to France, 

Proposals for concerted action 

against the Barbary States, 

I. 100. 
Conference with the Count de 

Vergennes, IV. 481. 
Observations on the letter of 

M. de Calonnes, V. 292. 

Secretary of State, 1790-93: 

Conversation with the Presi 

dent, I. 192. 
Conversation with Mr. Ham 

mond, 219. 

Opinion on Little Sarah, 282. 
Note given to the President, 

Opinion on communications to 

Congress, VI. 38. 
Opinion on the powers of the 

Seriate, 49. 
Opinion on Georgian land 

grants, 55. 
Opinion on soldiers accounts, 

6 .5-. 

Opinion on war between Great 

Britain and Spain, 90. 
Opinion on Residence bill, 97. 
Opinion on Indian trade, 109. 
Heads of consideration on the 

navigation of the Mississippi, 


Opinion on foreign debt, 131. 
Opinion on course of U. S. 

towards Great Britain and 

Spain, 141. 
Opinion on St. Glair s expedi 

tion, 143. 
Opinion on national capital, 

Draft of paragraph for Presi 

dent s message, 161. 
Report on Western lands, 163. 
Opinion on territorial author 

ity, 166. 
Report on British negotiations, 


Report on tonnage law, 175. 
Draft of Senate resolution, 185. 

Thomas Jefferson 


Draft of a bill to promote the 
progress of the useful arts, 

Draft of President s message 
concerning negotiations with 
Great Britain, 195. 

Opinion on the constitutional 
ity of a national bank, 197. 

Report on admission of Ver 
mont, 204. 

Draft of President s message 
transmitting Vermont ap 
pointments, 208. 

Report on Mangnall, 325. 

Report on William Howe, 329. 

Clauses for treaty of commerce 
with France, 335. 

Questions to be considered of, 

Resolutions concerning Algiers, 

Note on Spanish negotiations, 

Notes on British negotiations, 

Draft for President s message 

on Indian war, 346. 
Opinion relative to certain 

lands on Lake Erie, 347. 
Report on negotiation with 

Spain, 348. 
Report on Spanish negotiations, 

Draft of President s message on 

diplomatic nominations, 357. 
Report on commercial restric 
tions of Denmark, 364. 
Report on Charles Russell, 368. 
Draft of a letter from the Presi 
dent to the Secretary of War, 


Plan of posts, 382. 
Report on negotiation with 

Spain, 391. 
Notes on commercial policy 

towards Great Britain, 404. 
Report on negotiation with 

Spain, 414. 
Report on convention with 

Spain, 445. 
Project of a convention with 

the Spanish province, 450. 
Opinion on bill apportioning 

representation, 460. 

Draft of President s message 
vetoing Apportionment bill, 

Questions to Senate Committee, 


Paragraphs for President s 
message, VII. 160. 

Draft of an act entitled "An 
act making provision for re 
demption of the public debt," 

Report on John de Neufville, 

Amendments to Foreign Inter 
course bill, 187; VIII. 304. 

Opinion on fugitive slaves, VII. 

Draft of message on southern 
Indians, 192. 

Extemporary thoughts and 
doubts on Bankrupt bill, 

J 93- 

Maladministration of the Treas 
ury, 216. 

Giles Treasury resolutions, 


Notes on party policy, 223. 

The Assumption, 224. 

Questions as to France, 227. 

Notes on application of France, 

Circular letter to foreign min 
isters, 234. 

Report on petition of John 
Rogers, 240. 

Cabinet opinion on French ap 
plication, 248. 

Cabinet opinion on Indian war, 

Cabinet opinion on French 
debt, 252. 

Report on boundaries of Indian 
lands, 254. 

Cabinet opinion on filibusters, 

2 57- 
Draft of letter for Washington, 


Cabinet opinion on proclama 
tion and French minister, 

Opinion on French treaties, 

Opinion on Little Sarah, 332. 

Cabinet opinion on Creek In 
dians, 347. 


The Writings of 

Opinion in case of Henfield, 

Cabinet opinion on secret In 
dian agent, 353. 

Opinion on new loan, 364. 

Cabinet opinion on Polly and 
Catherine, 378. 

Second opinion on new loan, 

Cabinet opinion on French 

privateers, 395. 
Cabinet opinion on Spanish 

affairs, 406. 
Cabinet opinion on Little Sarah, 

Dissent from Cabinet opinion 

on Little Sarah, 438. 
Cabinet opinion on privateers 

and prizes, 444. 
Questions as to belligerents, 

Opinion on calling Congress, 

Cabinet opinion on privateers 

and prizes, 466. 
Cabinet opinion on prizes, 474. 
Cabinet opinion on privateers 

and prizes, VIII. 8. 
Cabinet decisions, 22. 
Circular to French consuls, 31. 
A statement concerning Genet, 

Cabinet decisions, 74. 
Draftof President s message, 79. 
Cabinet decisions, 88. 
Report on the privileges and 
restrictions on the commerce 
of the United States in for 
eign countries, 98. 
Opinion on neutral trade, 120. 
Supplementary report on com 
merce, 127. 

President of the United States, 

Inaugural address, IX. 193. 

Draft of message concerning 
Duane, 258. 

Letter to New Haven mer 
chants, 270. 

Circular to the heads of depart 
ments, 310. 

First annual message, 321. 

Second annual message, 406. 

Instructions to Meriweather 
Lewis, 423. 

Estimate of the merit of the 
doctrines of Jesus compared 
with those of others, 457. 

Newspaper article signed "Fair 
Play," 470. 

Answer to Gabriel Jones, 471. 

Drafts of an Amendment to 
the Constitution, X. 3. 

Queries as to Louisiana, 17. 

Third annual message, 33. 

Rules of conduct, 47. 

Fourth annual message, 105. 

An act for the more effectual 
preservation of peace in 
waters of United States, 118. 

Second inaugural address, 127. 

Notes on armed vessels, 152. 

Resolution concerning armed 
vessels, 152. 

Cabinet decision on Spain, 180. 

Draft of fifth annual message, 

Confidential message on Spain, 

Considerations on Spain, 199. 

A bill for establishing a naval 
militia, 206. 

An act for classing the militia, 

Special message on neutral 
commerce, 223. 

Circular to Cabinet on defence 
of New Orleans, 233. 

Draft of a bill for encouraging 
settlers in the territory of 
Orleans, 233. 

Notes on the bill for the de 
fence of Orleans, 235. 

Resolutions concerning Spain, 

Special message on Spanish 
boundaries, 238. 

Draft of proclamation concern 
ing Leander, 256. 

Proclamation against Burr, 301 

Sixth annual message, 302. 

Special message on Great Brit 
ain, 320. 

Proclamation concerning Cam 
brian, etc., 325. 

Special message on Burr, 346, 

Thomas Jefferson 


Special message on gunboats, 


Defence of gunboats, 361. 

Chesapeake proclamation, 434. 

Seventh annual message, 503. 

Confidential message on Chesa 
peake, 528. 

Special message on commercial 
depredations, 530. 

Special message on neutrals. 
XL 9. 

Special message on commercial 
decrees, 18. 

Special message on British ne 
gotiation, 20. 

Message on public defence, 23. 

Draft of supplementary Em 
bargo act, 25. 

Eighth annual message, 56. 

Circular letter to governors, 87. 

(See Independence, Declaration 
of; Virginia, Notes on; Vir 
ginia, Report of Revisors}. 
Ancestry, I. 4; II. 4. Birth, 
I. 5. Education, 5, 6, 433, 
436, 455, 467; II. 339. 453- 
Admitted to Bar, 1.6. Social 
life, 6, 435-451, 469. Mar 
riage, 7. Elected to House of 
Burgesses, 7, 9. Attends 
Stamp Act debate, 8. Ill 
nesses and injuries to, 15, 
109, 451; II. 49, 151; III. 290, 
293; IV. 270, 407; V. 218, 
224, 225, 231, 330; VI. 20, 58, 
61, 69, 78; VII. 152; VIII. 
170; IX. 346, 453; XI. 213, 

221, 267, 499 , XII. 89, 139, 

234,283,321,429. Servicein 
Continental Congress, I. 16, 
57, 81 ; II. 198, 230, 234. Ser 
vice as Governor of Virginia, 
I. 78, 79; II. 371; III. 285, 
291. Offers of foreign mis 
sions to, I. 79,93 ;III. 290,292, 
503; V. 286. Minister to 


419, 428; V. 

220. Death of wife, I. 80. 
Travels of, 93, 97, 109, 126, 
158, 171, 440, 441, 447; III. 
290; IV. 371; V. 86, 99, 260, 
264, 269, 280, 289, 389, 494; 
VI. 20,36, 254, 257,262264, 


France, 1. 79, 97; ^.377,388, 
288, 396; VIII. 

266, 268. Dislike of political 
life, I. 158, 160, 193, 233; II. 
i34;III.2 9 8;IV.2 49 ;VI.365, 
495; VII. 147, 372; VIII. 163, 
169; X. 342. Secretaryship 
of State, I. 158, 193, 234, 250, 
310; VI. 26, 27, 30, 36, 39, 58, 
382, 412; VII. 147, 149, 171, 
177, 215, 462, 471; VIII. 124, 
134, 136. Relations with 
Hamilton, I. 176, 184, 241; 
VI. 259; VII. 137, 151, 220, 
224. Washington s aliena 
tion from, I. 318; XII. 360, 
369. Accused of writing let 
ters of "Veritas," I. 279. 
Relations with John Adams, 
334, 340; VI. 281-284; VIII. 
271, 284; X. 85; XI. 167. 
Vice- Presidency, 1. 33 4; VIII. 
257, 269, 270. Never writes 
for press, I. 353; VII. 144; 
VIII. 446. Relations with 
Burr, I. 378; VIII. 421; IX. 
155, 173. Love for Rebecca 
Burwell, I. 435-451. Fond 
ness of, for music, I. 440; II. 
5, 8, 340. Love of violin, I. 
440; II. 8. Burning of Shad- 
well, I. 467 ; II. 6. Library of, 
I. 467; II. 6; X. 225; XL 427, 
431, 467, 469; XII. 127. Ar 
gument in Howell vs. Nether- 
land, I. 470. Lack of Epis 
copal influence, 486. Pur 
chase of books for, II. 4, 36, 
343; IV. 124. Family arms 
of, II. 4. Agreement con 
cerning books for, 8. Debts 
of, 364; V. 90, 235, 241, 244, 
309, 412; VI. 33; VII. 278, 
360; VIII. 71, 242; IX. 471; 
XI. 91, 113, 5i8;XII. 18, 23, 
65, 134, 245, 276, 449,^453, 
457, 464. Dislike of writing, 
III. 337; XL 499; XII. 47, 
95, 240. Religious views of, 
III.334;V.32 4 ; IX. 148,320, 
457; XI. 293, 498; XII. 52. 
Charge of Western land- job 
bing against, IV. 368. Sends 
designs for Virginia Capitol, 
505; V. 82. Revises Ency- 
clopedie, 3; XL 123. Desire 
for local news, V. 73. Advice 


The Writings of 

of, 174-179, 298, 322; XI. 79, 
420; XII. 405. Charity of, 
V. 213. Writes article on 
Cincinnati, 221. Property 
of, 234, 238, 311, 410; VI. 33, 
193, 262; VII. 252; VIII. 44; 
XL 92. Slaves of, V. 236, 
311, 419, 447; VII. 278. Es 
tates of, ravaged by British, 

V. 247, 419. Approval of re 
bellion by, V. 263. Sends 
rice to Southern States, 271, 
302. Dislike of financial bar 
gaining, 287. Relations of, 
to Congress, 288. Experience 
of, in Virginia courts, 297. 
Views of, on languages, 299, 
322; IX. 102. Desires to hear 
criticism of himself, V. 369. 
Portrait of, 384. Views on 
slavery, 388; X. 141; XI. 
1 80. Desires permission to re 
turn to America, V. 435, 440, 
476. Dished up as an Anti- 
federalist, 456. Hires house, 

VI. 36, 47. Preference of, 
for France, 39, 41. Meteoro 
logical observations of, 48, 
61. Plan of, to hire houses 
in Philadelphia, 105. Per 
sonal views on assumption, 
109. Wines ordered by, 146. 
Slight influence of, in foreign 
affairs, 147. Claim against, 
for Paris house, 149. Draft 
of President s message, 161. 
Endorses Paine s Rights of 
Man, 255, 258. Republican 
ism of, 256, 290. Interest of, 
in botany, 272. Lodgings of, 
in Philadelphia, 280. Love 
of agriculture, 359; VII. 177; 
VIII. 248. Pamphlet against, 
VI. 478. Refusal of, to inter 
meddle with elections, VII. 
150. Approval of Jacobins, 
202. Opinion of, on employ 
ing Indians, 353. Long pub 
lic service of, 373. New over 
seer of, 409. Offer of office to, 
VIII. 152. Manufacturing of 
nails, 167, 174, 212; IX. 66, 
77. Presidency, VIII. 169, 
257; IX. 155, 182, 185; X. 


), 393. Letter of , to Mazzei, 

235, 332; XII. 360. 
Denial of breach of confi 
dence, VIII. 245. Invention 
of mould-board by, 251. Po 
litical dislike of Europe, 287. 
Abused in newspapers, 375. 
Alleged conference of, with 
Republican leaders, 443 . 
Conference with Logan, IX. 
1 6, 29. Views of, on foreign 
policy, 66. Parliamentary 
manual of, 119. Social os 
tracism of, 130. Charges of 
Federalists against, 136. Pub 
lic services of, 163; XII. 431, 

444. Forgery of letters of, 
IX. 174. Refuses appoint 
ment to relative, 238. Loss 
of liking for poetry, 267. Sug 
gests prosecution of news 
papers, 451. Writes a news 
paper article, 469. Avoids 
influencing legislative depart 
ment, X. 53. European cor 
respondence of, 59. Prin 
ciples of first inaugural, 127. 
Defence of conduct of, during 
invasion of Virginia, 164; XI. 

445. Cordial relations of ad 
ministration of, X. 241. In 
fluence of, over Congress, 
289. Relations with Gallatin, 
294. Opinion of Monroe s 
treaty with Great Britain, 
374. Subpoenaed in Burrtrial, 
400,403,406-408. Conscious 
ness of old age, XI. 6. Pur 
chase of American cloth, 72, 
73. Charged with using in 
side information, 76. Prin 
ciples governing early life of, 
79. Letter of, to Emperor of 
Russia, 114. Proposed edition 
of writings of, 115. Public 
papers of, 115, 116. Refuses 
to ask appointments of Madi 
son, 133. Sued by Edward 
Livingston, 140, 154. Daily 
life of, 1 66, 177. Proposed 
financial aid to Duane, 191. 
Has no ill-feeling towards 
Great Britain, 242. Letters 
to Logan printed, 368. Fab 
ricated letter of, XII. 75. 

Thomas Jefferson 


Physical habits of, 117. An 
epicurean, 140. Gift to cler 
gyman, 212. Accused of 
peculation, 229. Request for 
appointment of B. Peyton, 
343. Arraignment of, by 
Pickering, 358. Gift of skins 
to Buffon, 393. Lottery for 
benefit of, 442, 449, 453, 458, 
460, 463, 466. Invitation to 
take part in fiftieth anniver 
sary of American Independ 
ence, 476. Epitaph of, 483. 
JESUS CHRIST, how to be viewed, 

V. 325. Doctrines of, IX. 457; 

XI. 498; XII. 141, 242. Life 

and morals of, IX. 460. 

Jefferson s digest of his moral 

doctrines, X. 70; XI. 325. Syl 
labus of doctrines of, XII. 55. 
Threatened publication of syl 
labus of doctrines of, 54, 55. 
Doctrines foisted upon, 141. 

Jews: Religion of, IX. 460. 


1790, 17 December, VI. 170 

-23 i73 


1825, 13 February, XII. 402 
JOHNSON, T., on Stamp Act, I. 8. 

1822, 27 October, XII. 246 

1823, 4 March, 277 
12 June, 252 

Life of General Greene, XII. 
246. Review of Life of Gen 
eral Greene, 277. 

1790, 7 October, VI. 151 


1779, 29 April, II. 364 

JONES, JOHN PAUL, advancement 

of, V. 403. Russian service of, 


1787, 14 August, V. 331 


1804, 19 October, II. 52 


1810, 5 March, XI. 137 

1814, 2 January, 373 


1787, 5 January, V. 244 

JONES & WALKER, case of, I. 222. 

Journal de Paris, Editor of the, 
1787, 29 August, V. 333 

Suppression of, IV. 428, 433. 

Judiciary: Control of, I. 121. 
Creed of, 122. A "corps of 
sappers and miners," 122. In 
dependence of, II. 218. Un 
reliability of, IV. 37. Great 
value of Bill of Rights to, V. 
461. Permanence of, 484. 

Judiciary, Federal: Republican- 
ization of, XI. 140. Powers of, 
488. Transfer of cases to, 488. 
Usurpations of, XII. 136. Effect 
of making it last resort, 136. 
Right to decide constitution 
ality, 162. Subtle corps of sap 
pers and miners, 177. Steadily 
breaking down constitutional 
barriers, 186, 196, 201, 203, 
207. Proposed protest against, 
207. Necessity of curbing, 214. 
Commissions of, should be for 
limited terms, 214. Reform in 
practice of rendering decisions 
of, 216. Each judge of, should 
give his individual opinion, 216, 
247, 279, 296. Encroachments 
of, 255. 

Juries: Defects of, I. 207. Bill to 
regulate, 354. Benefit of, IV. 
38. Books upon, V. 483. Ob 
servations upon, 484. Proposal 
to elect, VIII. 451, 482. Peti 
tion concerning, 451, 456. Re 
commendation in changes of 
system of, IX. 89. Extension 
of, recommended, 340. How 
far valuable, XI. 522. 



1793, 1 6 November, VIII. 71 

1817, 16 March, XII. 54 

i May, 55 

1825, ii January, 399 


1791, 22 March, VI. 223 


1803, 1 8 January, IX. 434 

Kentucky: Petition of, IV. 244. 

Desires statehood, V. 7, 38, 74, 


The Writings of 

Kentucky Continued. 

43 1 . Declared independent, 
129. Jefferson s wishes con 
cerning, 398. Should be made 
a State, 404. Necessity of con 
certed action with Virginia, 
IX. 77, 81. 

Kentucky Resolutions of 1798: 
VIII. 449, 457. Drafts of, 458. 
History of, 459. Phrasing of, 

Kentucky Resolutions of 1799: IX. 
77. Jefferson s outline of, 79. 
Jefferson s approval of, 105. 


1816, 12 July, XII. 3 

5 September, 15 

8 October, 17 

1824, 5 September, 377 

1802, 13 July, IX. 393 
Inconsistent votes of, I. 184. 

Toast to, 346. Genet s charge 
against, VIII. 119. Recom 
mends pacific conduct, 306, 
Kings: Natural History of, XI. 


1790, 26 November, VI. 152 

1803, 15 July, X. 1 6 

1790, 26 August, VI. 139 

1791, 10 301 

1793, 19 June, VII. 404 

1801, 27 March, IX. 236 

Opinion of, on employing In 
dians, VII. 353. Bankruptcy 
of, IX. 4, 6. Share of, in 
founding navy, XII. 267. 
KNOX, MRS. HENRY, forwardness 

of, I. 278. 

1812, 28 June, XI. 258 

Character of, VIII. 371. Death 
of, XII. 79. Property of, 79, 


1781, 2 March, III. 197 

8 204 

10 213 

12 216 

1781, 12 March III. 217 

14 219 

19 222 

24 228 

14 May, 279 

31 May, 287 

- 4 August, 290 
1786, 10 February, V. 84 

- 17 July, 140 

1789, 6 May, 472 

3 June 479 

1790, 2 Apnl, VI. 39 
1792, 16 June, VII. 109 

1806, 14 February, X. 229 

1807, 26 May, 406 
14 July, 462 

18 1 1, 20 January, XI. 174 

1813, 30 November, 356 
1815, 14 February, 454 
1817, 14 May, XII. 61 

1820, 26 December, 189 

1822, 28 October, 253 

1823, 4 November, 321 

1824, 3 September, 376 

- 9 October, 378 
Brings patriots to dine at Jef 
ferson s, I. 154. Campaign in 
Virginia, III. 203, 213, 216, 
265, 273, 283. Security for 
Littlepage, IV. 507. Proposed 
gift to, V. 82. Aids Jefferson 
in tobacco negotiations, no. 
Aid afforded to Jefferson by, 
226; VI. 115. Made a Nota 
ble, V. 251. Character of, 
259. Disgrace of, 424. Out of 
favor with court, 440. No 
need of fear concerning, 444. 
Jefferson s advice to, 472, 
476. Influence of, VI. 223. 
To be consulted relative to 
commerce with France, 294. 
Desire for liberation of, VII. 
263, 264. Imprudence of, 
311. Endeavors to aid, VIII. 
78. Washington s concern 
over, 94. Jefferson s desire 
for, at New Orleans, X. 229. 
Gift of lands to, 229, 255, 
269, 410. Lands of, in New 
Orleans, XI. 176. Journal of 
campaign in Virginia, 462. 
Jefferson s welcome to, XII. 
376, 378. Delirium caused by 
visit of, 380, 383. 

Thomas Jefferson 



1793, 16 March, VII. 264 

Washington s desire to serve, 

VII. 265. 

of, on Indians, XI. 250. 
LA HARPE, B. DE, history of, XI. 


1786, 3 June, V. 123 

Land: Right of alien to hold, V. 
45. Values of American and 
British, VII. 117. Right of 
ownership in, VIII. 195. 
Land Office: Plan of, IV. 334, 345- 
Land, Public: IV. 418. In colonial 
times, II. 83. Allodial nature 
of, 237. Value of, 239. Con 
gress right to, 239. Squatting 
on, III. 4. Disputes over, 4, 58, 
294; IV. 1 66, 223. Acquisitions 
from Indians, III. 497; IV. 45. 
Conveyance of, 44. Granting 
of, 45. Ordinance concerning, 
454. Sale of, 470. Purchase of, 
V. 43. Future States to be 
formed from, 131. Policy to be 
pursued concerning, 227. Im 
portance of, to U. S., 256. De 
lay in sale of, 285. Ordinance 
dividing, 346. Successful sale 
of, 367, 370. Jefferson s report 
on, VI. 1 66. Clause in Presi 
dent s speech concerning, 317. 
Sale of, to Pennsylvania, 347- 
Situation of North Carolina, 

VII. 102. Report on, 254. 
Boundary of southwestern, 258. 
Great demand for, XII. 104. 

Land Tax: Postponement of, 

VIII. 348, 356. Proposed, 405, 
407, 410, 413, 423, 428, 434, 
438. Assessor of, XL 440. 


1797, 22 January, VIII. 275 
1802, 29 June, IX. 382 

1808, 2 August, XI. 39 

Languages: Value for ethnology, 
III. 510. Foreign, IV. 62, 67. 
Jefferson s views on, V. 299, 
322; IX. 102. Jefferson out 
lines studies in, V. 322. 

Law: Value of study of, VI. 62, 71. 
How far binding on public 
officials, XL 146. 

Law, Common: IX. 139. How far 
in force in U. S., I. 353, 3^5, 
358, 362; XII. 67. Christianity 
part of, I. 453. Description of, 
IV. 473. Assumption that it is 
in force in U. S., IX., 73, 87. 


1811, 15 January, XL 162 

1813, 6 November, - 355 


1781, 25 February, III. 185 

Lawyers: Excessive number of, in 
legislative bodies, XL 226, 

"Leander": Outrage of the Brit 
ish ship, X. 256, 266. 

LEAR, TOBIAS, political opinions 
of, I. 261, 265. 

LE COULTEUX, project of, of fur 
company, V. 220. 

LEDYARD, JOHN, L 104. Proposed 
journey of, V. 183. Account of 
343. Travels of, 445. 

LEE, ARTHUR, incapacity of, IV. 
419. Monitor s letters of, XL 

LEE, F. L., L 10, 12. 


1790, 26 April, VI. 52 

Political information of, con 
cerning Virginia, VI. 272. 
Jefferson s accusation against , 
VIII. 246. Falsehoods of, re 
specting invasion of Virginia, 
X. 1 60. Inaccuracy of history 
of, XL 446. History of, XII. 
246. Jefferson s criticism of 
history of, 470. 


1824, 10 August, XII. 374 

1825, 8 May, 408 
1826, 15 - 470 

30 47 

1776, 8 July, II. 217 

1778, 5 June, 337 

1779, 21 April, 363 

17 June, 377 

1785, 12 July, IV. 434 

1786, 22 April, V. 92 
Will be dropped as Senator, VI. 

148. Style of, XL 334. Life 
of, XII. 415. 

LEE, THOMAS L., share in Revisal, 
L 67; II. 383. 


The Writings of 


1805, 12 August, X. 143 

1808, 23 June, XI. 33 
Speech of, VIII. 227. 


1804, ii June, X. 82 

1806, 22 December, 329 

1807, 21 August, 482 

1809, 21 January, XL 89 

1814, i 368 

1815, 12 June, 475 

1823, 31 May, XII. 286 

1824, 3 April, 347 
[27 October,] 345 

6 December, 385 

Jefferson s opinion of, XI. 189. 
LE MAIRE, claim of lands of, IV. 

"L Embuscade": Infringements of 
neutrality by, VII. 306, 309. 

Leopard : Captures frigate 
Chesapeake, X. 432. Proclama 
tion concerning, 434. 


1816, 7 April, XI. 518 

15 August, 519 

1822, 5 July, XII. 244 

1823, 8 245 

sion of Virginia by, III. 69, 70, 
77, 81. 

Levees: History of introduction 
of, I. 252. 


1781, 13 May, III. 279 


1776, 16 July, II. 228 


1798, 9 May, VIII. 416 


1803, 27 April, IX. 422 

is July, 430 
1806, 20 October, X. 295 
1808, 17 July, XI. 37 
Instructions to, IX. 423. News 

from expedition of, X. 227. 
Return of expedition of, 295. 
Expedition of, 314. Suicide 
of, XL 126. 

Lewis and Clark Expedition: IX. 
452. Message on, 421. Pur 
poses of, 421. Volumes upon, 
XI. 355. Discoveries by, 362. 

1786, 19 December, V. 234 

1787, 29 July, 309 

1788, ii 410 


1791, 9 February, VI. 193 

1792, 12 April, 475 
Lexington: English began hostili 
ties at, V. 195. 

Lex talionis: I. 69, 234; V. 228. 
Libel: Law of, IX. 257. 
Library, Public: Bill to establish, 

n. 436. 


1 80 1, ii July, 

26 August, 

1802, i January, 

24 March, 

25 October, 

1803, 26 April, 

i June, 

30 August, 

1804, 1 6 September, 
1806, 25 June, 

1807, 25 March, 

1808, 13 November, 









Jefferson urges appointment of, 
to Supreme Court, XI. 151, 
i54, 155- 


1805, 4 January, III. 336 

4 IV. 86 

LITTLEPAGE, LEWIS, controversy 
with Jay, IV. 503, 506; V. 72. 
Debt of, 367. Has overreached 
himself, 425. 

"Little Sarah," The: Case of ship, 
I. 280, 282, 291. Opinion on, 
VII. 332, 437; VIII. 247- 


1800, 30 April, IX. 131 

1 80 1, i November, 259 

1824, 4 April, XII. 348 

Suit of, against Jefferson, XI. 

140, 154. Jefferson s feelings 

towards, XII. 346. 


1782, 26 November, 
1791, 4 February, 

1799, 23 

1800, 30 April, 

14 December, 

1 80 1, 1 6 February, 


24 March, 

8 May, 


28 August, 

9 September, 

1802, 1 6 March, 

1 8 April, 

10 October, 


i8 7 




Thomas Jefferson 


1803, 3 February, IX. 441 
4 November, X. 48 

1807, 24 March, 377 

1808, 15 October, XI. 51 

Declines offer of the Secretary 
ship of the Navy, IX. 173. 
Tender of French mission to, 
187. Appointment of, to 
French mission, 309. Jeffer 
son s dissatisfaction with, 
395. Share of, in Louisiana 
purchase, X. 13. 
Loan, U. S. (See also Debt, U. S.) : 
Proposition for new, VII. 364, 
375. Second opinion on new, 


342, 343, 444-455; VIII. 301, 
35 2 353. 39. 4i6; IX. 71, 100, 
377. Murder of, IX. 71. 


1 80 1, 21 March, IX. 219 

1805, ii May, X. 141 

1813, 3 October, XI. 338 

1816, 19 May, 525 

20 June, 527 

12 November, XII. 42 
Mission of, VIII. 440; IX. 3, 

23. Election of, 4, 6. For 
gery of memorial, 6. Jeffer 
son s relations to mission of, 
1 6, 29. Bill against similar 
missions, 29, 30. European 
negotiations of, XI. 338. In 
fidelity of, 368, 525. 

1799, 12 March, IX. 62 

1 80 1, 25 February, 188 

London: Jefferson s proposition to 

burn, XI. 259. 

1771, ii May, II. 9 

1772, ii Tune, 35 
Long Island: Observations on bat 
tle of, V. 192. 

Lotteries: Thoughts on, XII. 435. 

Louis XVI., French affection for, 
V., 147. Well disposed towards 
Lafayette, 252. Character of, 
286. Passion of, for drink, 317. 
Sketch of a charter for, 480. 
Flight of, from Paris, VI. 309, 


1806, 20 December, X. 327 

1807, 3 February, 34*6 

1808, 29 October, XI. 55 

Louisiana: Possible acquisition 
by Great Britain, I. 372. Ces 
sion of, 374. Boundaries of, 
381; X. 5, 20, 28, 63, 88, in, 
138, 168, 174, 180, 238, 246, 
430; XI. 33, 43, 159, 516; XII. 
114, 402. Consideration of 
affairs in, I. 384. Measures for 
the defence of, 395, 399. Guar 
antee to France of, VII. 268. 
Cession by Spain to France, IX. 
263, 364, 405, 409. Possessor 
of, a natural enemy of U. S., 
364. Extraordinary mission for 
negotiations concerning, 416. 
Jefferson s desires concerning 
negotiation for, 418. Purchase 

of, 43 8 ; X- 5, 8, I2 36, 44- 
Constitutional clause concern 
ing acquisition of , X. 3, 10. Que 
ries as to, 17. Possible resist 
ance of Spain to cession of, 30. 
Steps to be taken regarding, 
should Spain refuse to make 
over, 45, 51. Proposed regula 
tions for, 46. General approba 
tion of treaty, 49. Draft of a 
constitution for, 51. Degree of 
self-government that should be 
accorded to, 55. Government 
for, 62, 69, 93, 113. Fortunate 
acquisition of, 70, 131. Mon 
roe s fears concerning, 94. 
Officials for, 97, 98. Materials 
relating to, XII. 402. 

LOWELL, JOHN, character of, I. 

Loyalists: Treatment of, I. 219. 
Safety of, in America, IV. 432. 
Numbers of, V. 7. Sufferings 
of, VII. 9. Debate in Parlia 
ment over, 20. Indemnified by 
Great Britain, 39. 


1826, 22 February, XII. 461 

LUNAN, GODWIN vs., II. 16. 

concerning, V. 257. Personal 
news concerning, 425. 


1793, 15 April, VII. 278 


The Writings of 


1783. i? June, 

IV. 148 

1 8 1 r , 2 1 January , XL 178 
LYON, M., case of, VIII. 369, 392. 

31 August, 
n December, 


Dirty affairs of, 395. Re-elec 
tion of, IX. 4. Fine of, 5. 

1784, i January, 
20 February, 


1 6 March, 



25 April, 

~ 329 

25 May, 



i July, 
n November, 


1786, 19 April, V. 88 

8 December, 

O ww 


I 7 8 7 4 January, 241 
Jefferson s debts to, 90, 235, 

1785, 1 8 March, 
n May, 


241, 244, 309. 

15 November, 

III. 321 


1786, 22 January, 

I. 72 

tory of, XI. 430. 

8 February, 


III. 322 

V *S 

Mace: Design for, VII. 413. 

12 May, 
1 6 December, 

v . 7 

/// 329 
V 22"? 

gotiations with, VI. no. Letter 

J 7 8 7. 30 January, 


of, 114. 

15 February, 

/- 73 


20 June, 

V. 283 

1 80 1, 2 February, IX. 174 

2 August, 


9 March, 206 

8 October, 


24 July, 282 

20 December, 


1803, 19 February, 449 

1788, 6 February, 


1804, 17 January, X. 68 

25 May, 


Election of, IX. 86, 87. Recol 

3 1 July, 


lections concerning Declara 

1 8 November, 


tion of Independence, XII. 

1789, 12 January, 



15 March, 


McLANE, ALLAN, removal of, IX. 

29 July, 



28 August, 



6 September, 

VI. 3 

1801, 14 May, IX. 253 

1791, January, 


1806, 26 March, X. 248 

9 May, 

2 57 

1819, 12 January, XII. 109 

2 1 June, 


1821, 19 August, 206 

- 20 October, 208 

- 6 July, 


1826, 21 February, 459 






1773, 25 February, II. 36 

1 8 August, 


ligious enthusiast, XI. 236. 

n November, 



1792, 1 6 March, 


Madeira: Climate of, IX. 168. 

13 May, 

VII. 8 


i June, 


1780, 26 July, III. 31 



1782, 24 March, 295 



26 November, 308 



I 7^3> 3 1 January, IV. 125 
7 February, 127 
14 136 


- 3 July, 
17 September, 


J3 1 


7 May, 144 

i October, 


7 147 

1793, March, 


i June, 146 

3 1 


17 166 

7 April, 


Thomas Jefferson 


MADISON, JAMES Continued. 

1798, 21 March, VIII. 


1793, 28 April, 




- 5 May, 


5 April, 













2 June, 






3 May, 








- 17 


7 July, 


3 1 




7 June, 


3 August, 





47 1 

26 October, 

45 6 



17 November, 

45 6 

25 VIII. 


1799. 3 January, IX. 


i September, 






2 9 

I 5 


5 February, 

3 2 

2 November, 








1794, 15 February, 



- 3 April, 


23 August, 


15 May, 


22 November, 


28 December, 


1800, 4 March, 


1795, 5 February, 




27 April, 


[ ] 12 May, 

J 35 

3 August, 


17 September, 


21 September, 


19 December, 


26 November, 




1796, 6 March, 


1 80 1, i February, 




_ J Q - . 


17 April, 


12 March, 


17 December, 




X 797 J January, 


-15 July, 




12 August, 




12 September, 




12 November, 




1802, 13 September, 




1803, 22 March, 


1 8 May, 


- 1 8 August, X. 


i June, 



3 1 July, 



14 September, 




1804, 23 April, 


2 9 


5 July, 




24 July, 




3 August, 
1798, 3 January, 


7 August, 





1 8 November, 

8 February, 


1805, April 




4 August, 


2 2 




2 March, 









The Writings of 

MADISON, JAMES Continued. 

1805, 1 6 September, X. 


ii October, 




24 November, 


1806, 5 March, 

2 3 6 

23 May, 


8 August, 

2 79 

23 September, 


19 December, 


1807, i February, 


14 April, 



3 88 



i May, 

39 1 

, K .._. 

39 2 

9 August, 






- i? 








i September, 






1808, ii March, XI. 


24 May, 

3 2 

12 August, 


6 September, 


X 3 


1809, 22 May, 


19 April, 

1 06 

1 6 June, 
12 July, 
30 November, 


1810, 25 May, 

X 39 

15 October, 


1811, 24 April, 


3 July, 
1812, 19 February, 


17 April, 


25 May, 

2 4 6 

3 o _ 


6 June, 




6 November, 


1813, 21 February, 


21 May, 


1814, 1 6 February, 


10 March, 


15 October, 


1815, 23 March, 


1816, 2 August, XII. 


1819, 3 March, 


1820, 29 November, 


1821, 13 January, 


1821, 1 6 September, XII. 209 

1822, 25 February, 227 

1823, 6 January, 274 

13 June, 295 

30 August, 306 

1 8 October, 315 

15 November, 325 

1825, 24 December, 416 

1826, 2 January, 431 
17 February, 455 

Notes on President s message, 
Oct. i, 1803, X. 33. 

Memoranda for second inaug 
ural address, 128. 

Memoranda for fifth annual 
message, 181. 

Memoranda for sixth annual 
message, 303, 310. 

Notes on special message on 
Great Britain, 320. 

Draft of Chesapeake proclama 
tion, 447. 

Paragraph for message on pub 
lic defence, XI. 23. 

Draft for eighth annual mes 
sage, 56. 

Character of, I. 65. Adams de 
sire to join in French mis 
sion, 335. Invited by Jeffer 
son to Paris, IV. 384. Cypher 
with, 412. Lost election of, 
V. 451. Commercial propo- 

Report of, IX. 113. Case of 
Marbury vs., X. 396. Fric 
tion with Monroe, XI. 10. 
Friction in Cabinet of, 132. 
Dignified message of, 211. 
Difficulties of, 444. Gift to, 
XII. 481. 

1781, 31 March, III. 235 

8 April, 244 

J 795 t 1 ? 8 .^ 28 Oct., VIII. 194 

1799, 27 February, IX. 61 

1800, 31 January, 108 

1780, 24 December, III. 95 
MAGELLAN, portrait of, V. 384 
Mail: Complaints concerning 

stoppage of, IV. 388. 
Maine: Desires statehood, V. 


Thomas Jefferson 

Majority: Sacred principle of gov 
ernment by, IX. 195. Right of, 


MALTHUS, Jefferson s praise of, 
X. 72. 

Mammoth (see Fossil Bones ). 

Man: Degeneracy of, in new 
world, III. 418. "The only ani 
mal which devours his own 
kind," V. 253. Can be gov 
erned other than by force, 255. 
Right of, to bind future genera 
tions, VI. 3. Jefferson s faith in, 
VIII. 185. Natural right of ex 
patriation of, IX. 341. Slow 
progress of, X. 530. Natural 
rights of, XI. 534. Destruction 
of, XII. 239. Origin of parties 
in, 375- 

MANGNALL, JOHN, case of, VI. 318. 
Report on, 325. 


1817, 12 June, XII. 65 

Manslaughter: Law concerning, 
V. 48. 

Manufactures: Privileges to, IV. 
45. Evil effects of, 85. Un-Amer 
ican character of, 85. Condi 
tion of American, 87 . Jefferson s 
dislike of, 449, 469; XI. 501. 
Dear labor makes American, 
impossible, V. 408. Hamilton s 
report on, VII. 139. Stimula 
tion of, by embargo, XI. 70, 90. 
Growth of domestic, 199, 219, 
260; XII. 61. Development of 
household, XI. 272, 274. Ques 
tion as to advantage of , XII. 62. 
Development of domestic, 62. 
Proposition to encourage, by 
taxing other interests, 328. 


1781, 4 March, III. 314 

I- 93- 

MARBURY vs. MADISON, case of, 
X. 396; XI. 141; XII. 256. 

MARIE ANTOINETTE, dissipations 
of, I. 1 06. Responsibilities of, 
149. Character of, V. 286. De 
testation of, 317. 

Maritime Jurisdiction: Limits of, 
VIII. 52, 60, 61, 75. As affected 
by coast-line, X. 101. 

MARSHALL, JOHN, appointment 
to X Y Z mission, I. 355. Ham 

ilton desires election of, VII. 
130. Injury to republicanism 
by, VIII. 197. Amendments to 
Constitution proposed by, 360, 
364. Reception of, at New 
York, 439. Effect of despatches 
of, IX. 21, 27. Course of, in 
Burr trial, X. 382, 385. Issues 
subpoena against Jefferson, 400, 
404, 406, 408. Cunning and 
sophistry of, XI. 140. Extra- 
judicial opinions of, XII. 256. 

MARSHALL S Life of Washington: 
A party diatribe, I. 164; XI. 
485. Criticism of, IX. 372; XI. 
121. Notes upon, 122. Misre 
presentations in, 205. Libels 
in, 296. A five- volume libel, 
XII. 278. 


1813, 20 September, XI. 

MARTIN, LUTHER, attack of, on 

Notes on Virginia, VIII. 301, 

35 2 . 353. 390- Motive of, 416. 

Implicated with Burr, X. 


1781, 15 January, III. 129 

i February, 159 

6 March, 201 
Maryland: Motion for, on national 

capital, IV. 319. Delegates of, 
did not retire from Congress, 
V. 190. Claim of, to part of 
Virginia, VIII. 273. 

Maryland Bank Case, VII. 67. 


1819, 24 August, XI. 134 


1790, 13 June, VI. 74 

1791, 4 February, 185 
Character of, I. 65. Share in 

Revisal, 67; II. 383. Anec 
dotes concerning Federal 
convention, I. 231. Conver 
sation with, VII. 154. Com 
mercial proposition of, in 
convention, IX. 121. Drafts 
Virginia Bill of Rights and 
constitution, XII. 407. 

MASON, JOHN M., a red-hot Fed 
eralist, XI. 131. 


1814, 18 August, XI. 410 


The Writings of 


1798, ii October, VIII. 449 

1799, 27 IX. 85 
MASON, T., IV. 145. 

1808, 12 August, XI. 45 

Massachusetts: Excessive taxa 
tion in, V. 239. Malcontents in, 
263. Favored by assumption, 
VI. 1 08. Change in vote of, IX. 
65. Political fixity of, 463. 
Traitorous conduct of, XI. 336. 
Relation of, to Union, 336. 
Probable attitude as regards 
fisheries, 395. Republicaniza- 
tion of, XII. 127. Revision of 
constitution of, 198. 


1779, 8 October, II. 467 

MAURY, JAMES, I. 5; II. 6. 


1812, 25 April, XI. 239 

1785, ? November, IV. 473 
1796, 24 April, VIII. 235 

1 80 1, 17 March, IX. 210 

1813, 29 December, XI. 364 
1815, 9 August, 480 
Jefferson s fear of, IV. 270. 

Book on the U. S., V. 171. 
Appointment of, 425. Jeffer 
son s letter to, VIII. 235, 
332; XII. 360. Private 
affairs of, XI. 367, 481. 
Jefferson s debt to, 481 ; XII. 
1 8. Death of, 16. 

1781, 4 January, III. 114 


1825, 26 September, XII. 413 

1801, 26 March, IX. 234 

Mecklenburg Declaration: Alleged, 

XII. 132. 

Medicine: Blows of Moliere at, 
IV. 504. Jefferson s views upon, 
X. 425- 

1813, 18 September, XI. 334 

1813, 13 January, XI. 274 

1814, 10 December, III. 36 

Map by, XI. 274. 
MERCER, HUGH, JR., motion con 
cerning, IV. 334. 


1792, 19 December, VII. 195 
I 797\ 5 September, VIII. 338 
Opinion of, IV. 331. 

MERRY, A., arrival of, X. 66. So 
cial clash with, 66. 

MESMER, Franklin s report on, VI. 

Message, Presidential: Substitu 
tion of, for speech, IX. 345. 

Meteorological Observations: Jef 
ferson s method of making, VI. 
47, 61. 


1786, 22 June, V. 68 

1795, 29 April, VIII. 173 

Article in Encyclopaedia, I. 

169; V. 168, 171, 180, 183. 

Reference to, 180. 

Mexico: Attitude of U. S. towards, 
I. 423. News of, V. 277. Com 
ing revolution in, XI. 351. 
Affairs in, XII. 274. 

of, to Georgian lands, IV. 487- 

MICHAUX, ANDRE, instructions to, 
I. 281; VII. 208. Proposed ex 
pedition of, I. 350. 

Midnight Appointments: IX. 222, 
225, 231, 237; X. 85. 

MIFFLIN, THOMAS, application of, 
for guns, I. 291. 

Military Academy: Proposition to 
establish, I. 330. 

Militia: Pickering s opinion of, I. 
347. Number in Virginia, III. 
490-493. System, 492. Propo 
sition for a graded, X. 192. 
Bill to establish naval, 207. 
Estimate of, in U. S., 209. Bill 
creating a classified, 213. Classi 
fication of, 223. Division con 
cerning classification of, 253. 
Payment of Ohio, 357. Circular 
letter concerning, 372. Neces 
sity for classified, 392. Readi 
ness of, 522. System of classi 
fied, XI. 31. Arrangements 
concerning, 68. 


1808, 23 January, XI. 7 


1814, 17 October, XI. 439 

Thomas Jefferson 


Mind: Experiments upon, XII. 


1814, 30 August, XI. 420 

Mint: Establishment of, VII. 161. 


1786, 20 August, V. 167 

Miranda Expedition, X. 242. 
Prosecutions for participation 
in, I. 398. Jefferson s know 
ledge concerning, XI. 119. 
Mississippi River: Navigation, of 
I. 239; III. 137; IV. 368, 374; 
V. 444; VI. 112, 115, 123, 213, 
236, 342, 349. 37 8 > 39 2 . 4io, 
416, 421; VII. 101, 136. Im 
portance of, V. 75, 256, 398. 
Negotiations concerning, 147. 
Evil effects of closing, 227. 
Closing of, will result in sepa 
ration between the eastern and 
western country, 256. Will 
probably lead to a war with 
Spain, 257. Unfortunate ques 
tion in regard to, 285. Western 
country in a flame over, 346; 
IX. 436. Difficulties over, V. 
404. Spain disposed to grant 
right of deposit, VI. 318, 342; 
IX. 436. 


1801, 13 July, IX. 274 

1807, i November, X. 527 

Mississippi Territory: Wretched 
appointments for, VIII. 415. 

Missouri Compromise, XII. 151, 
157, 158, 191. A party trick, 
165, 260, 323. Dissension pro 
duced by, 179. Political changes 
wrought by, 186. Difficulties 
of, 193, 198. 

Mobile: Disagreement over, X. 

IO2, IO4, III. 

Mohegans: Language of, V. 444. 

MOLIERE, almost destroyed the 
science of medicine, IV. 504. 

Monarchy (see also Federalist): 
Party of, in U. S., I. 169, 337, 
338; VI. 290; VII. 121, 322. 
Suspicion of, in U. S., I. 
316. A government of wolves 
over sheep, V. 255. Growth of 
sentiment in America in favor 

of, 320; VII. 109. Party of, in 
Federal convention, VI. 490. 
Smallness of party of, in U. S., 
VII. 204. Waning power of, in 
U. S., 207. Jefferson s "Book 
of Kings," XI. 439. Favored 
by leading Federalists, XII. 

Money (see also Gold; Paper 
Money) : Metallic, the only true, 
XII. 165. 

Money Bills: Right to originate, 
II. 311. 

Money Unit: Jefferson s notes on, 
I. 82; III. 233, 297. 


1782, 20 May, III. 298 

1783, 1 8 November, IV. 177 

1784, 21 May, 358 

ii November, 370 

10 December, 385 

1785, February, 395 

1 8 March, 404 

15 April, 408 

1 7 June, 415 

5 July, - 429 

28 August, 452 

1786, 10 May, V. 105 

9 July, 13 r 

ii August, 147 

1790, 20 June, VI. 78 

1 1 July, 88 

1791, 1 8 January, 174 

17 April, 241 

10 July, 280 

1792, ii April, - 474 

23 June, VII. 127 

1793, 14 January, 207 

5 May, 308 

4 June, 360 

28 415 

14 July, 446 

1794, ii March, VIII. 139 

24 April, 143 

1795, 26 May, 176 
- 6 September, 186 

1796, 2 March, 220 

21 229 

12 June, 243 

10 July, 251 

1797, 7 September, 339 

25 October, 344 

27 December, 349 
[1798, 8 February,] 364 

8 March, 380 


The Writings of 

MONROE, JAMES Continued. 
1798, 21 March, VIII. 

5 April, 


21 May, 

J 799> 3 January, IX. 

ii February, 

1800, 12 January, 

6 February, 

26 May, 

20 September, 

8 November, 

1 80 1, 15 February, 

7 [*.*., Mar.] 

26 May, 


14 November, 

1802, 15 July, 


1803, 10 January, 

1804, 8 January, X. 

1806, 1 8 March, 

4 May, 

26 October, 

1807, 21 March, 

1808, 1 8 February, XI. 

10 March, 

ii April, 

12 October, 

1809, 28 January, 

1811, 5 May, 

1812, ii January, 

1814, 24 September, 

1 6 October, 

1815, i January, 

1816, 4 February, 

1 6 October, XII. 

1819, 1 8 January, 

1820, 14 May, 

1822, 19 March, 

i December, 
1823, 21 February, 

29 March, 

ii June, 


19 October, 

1824, 2 July, 

5 February, 

27 March, 

1 8 July, 

15 December, 
















43 6 

J 43 
1 60 




1826, 22 February, XII. 460 
8 March, 4 66 

Recall of, I. 340. Cypher with, 
IV. 395, 408. Jefferson s de 
sire that he should settle 
near him, V. 105; VIII. 178. 
Will be elected Senator, VI. 
148. Jefferson s regard for, 
VIII. 171. Book in defence 
of, 276. Reason for appoint 
ment of, 276. Return of, 
from France, 338. Suggested 
title of book by, 344. Publi 
cation of book by, 347, 350, 
362, 364. Removal of, to 
Richmond, 383. Attacks 
upon, 399. Jefferson s desire 
to see, in Senate, IX. 13. 
Named special plenipoten 
tiary to negotiate concerning 
Louisiana, 416. Instructions 
to, concerning Louisiana, 
418. Special mission of, 435, 
436, 441. Attempts to be 
little services of, X. 13; 
Offered governorship of 
Louisiana, 65. Alarmist let 
ter from, 94. Appointed 
special minister to Spain, 
202. Unfortunate connec 
tion with Randolph, 261. 
Offer to, of governorship of 
Western Territory, 262. Bad 
management of estate^ of, 
298. Offer of governorship of 
New Orleans, 376. Friction 
with Madison, XI. 10. Causes 
for ill-feeling of, 1 1 . History 
of English mission of, n. 
Personal views of, 127. En 
deavor to placate, 127. ^ Ac 
ceptance of Secretaryship of 
War, 445. Elected President, 
XII. 63. Request for per 
mission to publish letters of 
Jefferson, 387. Financial 
difficulties of, 460. 
Monroe Doctrine: Jefferson s ap 
proval of, XII. 318. 
MONTESQUIEU S Spirit of Laws, 
VI. 63. False doctrine of, that 
a republic must be small, IX. 
221. Jefferson s opinion of, XI. 
1 8 1 . Jefferson translates Tracy s 
reply to, 182. 

Thomas Jefferson 


Monticello: Building of, II. 7, 94. 
Jefferson s wish to form select 
society about, IV. 383. Tarle- 
ton s raid on, V. 419. Climate 
of, VI. 62. Jefferson s pleasure 
in, IX. 94. 

COMTE DE, character of, V. 286, 
424. Jefferson s conversations 
with, VI. 17. 


J 797> J 3 June, VIII. 305 


1800, 14 August, IX. 142 

XI. 420 
Moose: Jefferson s gift of, to 

Buffon, V. 352; XII. 393. 

1787, 2 July, III. 332 

Editor of French edition of 
Notes, III. 322, 324; V. 77, 
79. Advertisement of, III. 

1806, 19 September, X. 291 

1822, 26 June, X. 291 

Morocco: Depredations of, on 
American commerce, IV. 390, 
397, 407- 

conduct of, IX. 456. Court- 
martial of, X. 77. 
1790, 12 August, 

26 November, 

1792, 23 January, 

10 March, 

28 April, 

1 6 June, 

15 October, 

7 November, 

30 December, 

1793, 12 March, 


20 April, 

24 May, 

13 June, 

1 6 August, 

1 80 1, 8 May, 

Informal appointment of, "I. 
189. Attitude towards French 


VI. 122 










VIII. 4? 4 
IX. 250 

Revolution, 212. Trick in Fed 
eral convention, 232. Quar 
rel with French ministers, 
253. The French government 
complains of conduct of, 
253; VIII. 92. Indiscreet 
conduct of, I. 255. Senatorial 
party against, VI. 360. Foot 
ing of, in England, 361. Ap 
pointed Minister to France, 
3 73 1 381. Revision of letter 
to, 380. Objection to, 381. 
Grounds for opposition to, 
407. Letter to Washington 
from, VII. 124. Unpopu 
larity of, in France, 131. 
Appointment of, 163. Per 
sonal danger of, 175. Diffi 
cult position of, 198. Letter 
of, 208, 269. 

1784, i February, IV. 236 
V. 120, 137. Influence of, I. 
295. Promised support of 
Washington, 307. Dislike of, 
by Arthur Lee, IV. 419. Se 
cures tobacco contract, 508. 
Contract with Farmers Gen 
eral, V. 1 02. Deranged 
affairs of, 452. Land pur 
chases of, VI. 275, 278. Sub 
scription of, to U. S. Bank, 
278. Share of, in locating 
capital, VII. 227. Notes of, 
VIII. 422. Claim on, IX. 38. 
Decline of, 209. 

1822, 6 March, XII. 222 

Outcry of, against Illumina- 
tism, IX. 1 08. Proposed In 
dian Society of, XII. 202. 
Mould-board: Jefferson s experi 
ments with, VIII. 251; IX. 133. 
Mountains: Observations upon, 

VIII. 249. 

1788, 17 May, V. 392 

1789, _2o - 477 

Appointed French Minister to 
America, V. 352, 355. Char 
acter of, 357. Offended at 
American etiquette, 392, 404. 
Project for a French colony 
in America, VI. 117. 


The Writings of 

MURRAY, W. VANS, nomination to 
negotiate with France, IX. 59, 

Muskets: Improvements in, IV. 


Nails: Jefferson s manufactory of, 

VIII. 167, 175, 212; IX. 67, 77. 
naparte) . 

National Intelligencer: Govern 
mental influence in, X. 151. 

Native Virginian" (a). Charge of 
peculation against Jefferson, 
XII. 229. 

Natural Bridge: Jefferson s owner 
ship of, V. 238. Jefferson s de 
sire to visit, VI. 29. 

Naturalization, IV. 43, 48. Re- 
visal of laws of, recommended, 

IX. 340. 

Natural Rights, II. 200. 

Natural Selection: Application of, 

to mankind, XI. 341. 
Naval Militia: Bill to establish, 

X. 206. 

Navigation, Internal: Necessity 
for improving, IV. 383; VI. 210. 

Navigation Law: Jefferson s views 
on, V. 439- 

Navy, VIII. 289, 299, 303, 317. 
Cabinet council concerning, I. 
418. Value of, IV. 400. Amer 
ican, a bridle on Europe, 451. 
U. S. without a, V. 14. Neces 
sity of, 439. Increase of, VIII. 
393; IX. 4. Bill for additional 
ships for, VIII. 411. How far 
necessary, IX. 338. Threatened 
decay of, 416. Peace estab 
lishment of, X. 193. Need of 
ships-of-the-line for, 267. Bril 
liant conduct of, XI. 288. Vic 
tories of, 358, 365. Ineffective 
ness of, 445. Beginning of, XII. 
266. Expense of, 269. 

Navy, Department of: Bill to es 
tablish, VIII. 411. Secretary 
ship of, offered to Samuel 
Smith, IX. 207. Secretaryship 
of, 226, 234. Necessity of ad 
vertising for a secretary of, 251. 

Navy Yards: Location of, X. 124. 

NECKER, JACQUES, recall of, I. 

129. Financial plans of, V. 488. 
Proposed loan of, 495. 

NECKER, MADAME, Jefferson s re 
collections of, XII. 394. 

Negro (see also Slave): Albinos, 
III. 466. Ethnology of, IV. 50. 
Physical difference, 50, 56. In 
tellect of, 51; XI. 99, 121. 


1820, 7 February, XII. 157 

12 March, 157 


1776, 16 May, II. 151 

16 - IV. 23 
1781, 2 January, III. 109 

12 - 123 

15 130 

15 131 

20 147 

25 151 

1 6 February, 169 

21 181